In a Harris Interactive survey of people with MS, 64 percent reported difficulty walking, loss of balance at least twice a week when walking, or inability to walk.
Among those who experienced difficulty walking, 44 percent had to take days off from work and two-thirds of those indicated this impairment was the most challenging aspect of their MS. The difficulty with walking was disruptive or very disruptive to their overall daily life, negatively impacted their ability to carry out daily tasks, and negatively affected their emotional health.
Yet 39 percent of those surveyed indicated they rarely or never discussed mobility issues with their physician. These impairments can affect quality of life in all areas, but especially in the workplace.
In the November 2009 issue of the International Journal of MS Care, many strategies to improving mobility in the workplace are given.
Exercise is one of the best methods of improving mobility, and it can be done in the workplace as well as at home. Simple exercises that can be done at work include:
Corner stretching (bracing forearms against corner walls and leaning into the corner) to stretch chest muscles that have tightened from prolonged sitting.
Standing at the desk area and leaning forward, or stretching at the restroom sink during breaks. This is good for spasticity.
Maintain good posture by keeping the chin level and gently pulling the chin straight in so the ears are directly over the shoulders, aligning the spine and posture.
Sitting and standing repeatedly, knee bends, raising the heels to stand on the toes and then back on the heels. These are good strengthening exercises.
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