Excerpt from an interview in the trade magazine T&E Sport und Medizin with Prof. Dr. Thomas Wessinghage, 2004, today Medical Director of Medical Park AG, Bad Wiessee and Professor at the German University for Prevention and Health Management. The interview was conducted by Dr. med. Rudolf Ziegler.
T&E, Dr. Ziegler: Mr. Wessinghage, the plagued axial skeleton in Germany opposes millions of times over partly massive back pain against the rape by lack of movement and incorrect load. The bill is paid by the solidarity community and there is no end in sight. Please comment on these facts from your specialist point of view.
Prof. Wessinghage: It is a fact that this dilemma you have pointed out has become the biggest financial problem of health care in all western industrialized countries. About one third of all certificates of incapacity for work are nowadays already issued because of symptomatic musculoskeletal disorders, especially cervical and lumbar spine-related. The discrepancy between technological limitlessness and physical immobility is becoming increasingly greater, and our organism, which is geared to movement and stress, must inevitably capitulate and only cause pain.
T&E, Dr. Ziegler: Like everywhere else, "prevention would be better than drilling"?
Prof. Wessinghage: Indeed. In my opinion, we can only make preventive progress in the "sick back" drama if we break new ground. We doctors have to grab our clients by their pride, prove to them with arguments and set an example of what is "in" at an innovative workplace. I would include, for example, a standing desk in the office or appropriate seating equipment that enables active sitting. This is contemporary, anachronistic is the cuddly soft executive chair. Again and again, the message must come across unmistakably, "There is nothing good unless you do it."
T&E, Dr. Ziegler: As I have seen, you work in your 450-bed rehab clinic according to a novel seating concept, active sitting on the Aeris Swopper. Where do you see the essential orthopaedic-medical advantages of this original Pezzi Ball idea converted to a high-tech seating element?
Prof. Wessinghage: The Aeris Swopper swings vertically, it swings horizontally and it also enables activities in the diagonal. Accordingly, the spinal position can be constantly and actively changed, which sets positive nutritive accents for the nucleus and strengthens the paravertebral and ventral musculature, especially under everyday conditions.
T&E, Dr. Ziegler: Does swopping also have a phlebological preventive effect?
Prof. Wessinghage: Without a doubt, the activated calf pump specifically promotes venous return from the lower extremities, rigid sitting with bent knees is now a thing of the past and venous valve insufficiency is effectively prevented.