In Speaker / Gateway

In an era of information overload, it is possible to surprise people with new detail. And, if that byte of fact concerns health, a hall full of people will even sit up and listen to you. This is good for their posture anyway and so, fittingly, Tuesday’s speaker Dr. Murtuza Rangwala captured everyone’s attention by peppering his talk with demonstrations.

A physiotherapist, Dr. Rangwala specialises in orthopaedic and neurological rehabilitation. He has worked as a physiotherapist for athletes in cricket, hockey, rugby, tennis and karate. Dr. Rangwala keeps himself updated with all the new techniques and concepts being constantly developed. He also conducts corporate fitness programs as well as school fitness programs and various free physiotherapy camps.

Footwear, he said in his talk, caused half of all knee pains. So, it was necessary to choose the right foot wear
for one’s self. There have been many published testimonials from people with chronic knee and ankle pain who made seemingly miraculous recoveries after they switched to shoes that were better for them. While on that subject,
heels were a definite no-no for women, Dr. Rangwala stressed, and the only exception to that rule was platform heels.

Gravity does not favour heels, he added.

Moving on up, an ideal posture for the back and neck was one that strained one’s muscles the least. Maintaining
a bad posture for more than 35 to 40 minutes could cause weak and overstretched muscles that resulted in acute
or chronic pain.

Dr. Rangwala did not mince words when he compared the ill effects of sitting for more than an hour to being the same
as smoking. It is posture that decided a person’s cardiovascular health, weight, blood circulation as well as made one prone to Type II diabetes. In order to avoid this, he suggested, taking a break from sitting or typing for 30 minutes or more by walking or relaxing the muscles. Aerobic and breathing exercises were the
best, he said.

While the Rotarians were changing postures as and when Dr. Rangwala spoke about correct form, he also pointed out the difference that can be made by paying attention to office ergonomics. The right types of chairs, he said, with a proper and straight alignment of knees and hips as well as the monitored and guided use of Swiss balls at work would help de-stress muscles.

For golfers, good technique was emphasised upon as were a good coach, a warm-up before and cool-down after to
be in tune with the play at hand. It was but natural that his talk would evoke many questions. If a profession involved continuous bending of the back or neck, asked a Rotarian, what was the solution? Dr. Rangwala suggested a short five to 10-minute exercise every two hours. He advised 10-minute exercises rather than a one-hour exercise to allow people’s engagement with it to continue. With so many specific pieces of advice that they could work upon, Rotarians could not help but be moved.

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