4 Ways to Improve Back Pain
You may have heard that prolonged sitting is harmful for your body. What happens when you sit for long periods of time? The electrical impulses that go to the muscles in your legs immediately decrease, the number of calories your body burns immediately decreases, the enzymes that break down fat decrease and your body’s production of good cholesterol is reduced. There is also added stress in the back. The pressure on your discs can increase anywhere from 40 to 80 percent while sitting when compared to standing.
Take every opportunity to stand up or walk. While working, take breaks to stand up and walk around the office. While at home, walk around during commercials. Stand up when taking phone calls. This will help offset some of the negative effects of sitting. If you can’t walk around, at least stand up. Additionally, while you stand, place your hands on the small of your back and arch your back gently. This will take stress off of your discs.
When you must sit, try to maintain a good position for reducing the stress on your body. At home, the positioning of a recliner reduces the stress on the back. However, this is not typically an option if you are at work. Try to follow these recommendations while sitting on the job:
Make sure that your body weight is evenly distributed on both hips.
Make sure you are sitting straight up with your hips and knees at approximately 90 degrees. This can be made easier by placing a rolled-up towel in the lower curve of your back.
Keep both feet flat on the floor. If your feet do not reach the floor, place a small foot stool or box on the floor so that your feet are in contact with a solid surface.
Keep the screen of your computer at eye height.
Above all else, remember to keep active!
About the Author
Cindy Russell, PT, is a physical therapist at Annie Penn Outpatient Rehab