Top 7 reasons why sitting causes back pain

1. Most people sit with slouched posture, which puts your low back in a rounded or flexed position for hours each day. Our backs were not made to stay in one position all the time. This can cause future problems in the spine such as arthrits, herniated disks, and sciatica.

2. People who sit at work typically sit for too long without changing positions. If your job involves sitting all day, standing up, stretching or walking around briefly every 30-60 minutes will help.

3. Very few people sit with lumbar support, which helps to align the low back. Good posture starts with the pelvis. Tilt your pelvis forward so that less of your buttocks are supported on the chair. That way the bottom of your pelvis is supporting your trunk and you increase the arch in your low back. Once you have that position, use a lumbar roll/pillow to maintain it.

4. A slumped low back leads to a rounded mid back with shoulders rounded forward and the neck to be excessively forward. This can lead to progressive neck problems and even shoulder pain (especially with lifting overhead).

5. Aside from sitting at work, we tend to have a sedentary lifestyle, with many leisure activities done also in the sitting position. With present technology, we can do almost everything from the convenience of our homes. While it is convenient to buy clothes and even stamps at home, it is taking a toll on our backs. Having a sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity, which carries multiple health risks.

6. We do very few activities with our spines extended backward, which is an important position to achieve regularly for optimal back health. If you do not regularly lean backward (increasing the arch in your low back), then start doing so several times daily. It can be done sitting or standing. Another way to arch backward is to lie on your tummy and prop up on your forearms.

7. Slumped sitting posture puts the back muscles (and other back tissues) in a lengthened or stretched position while also causing the muscles and tissues on the front of the hip, abdomen and chest to be in a shortened position. This imbalance can cause further posture problems, weakness and instability with greater risk for back pain and injury.

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I am a Physical Therapist and Ergonomics Consultant, based out of Columbia, SC. My passion is to write about and speak about pain/injury prevention. I started Pain Talks as a consulting business in 2018.

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