Sitting and back pain is a common problem because most of us sit down a lot of the day from the time we get up and eat breakfast, drive to and from work, answer emails, perform our job requirements, eat lunch and dinner and watch television in the evening. As a result the majority of our day is spent in these prolonged seated postures by bending our hips and knees, rounding our shoulders/spine and jutting our head forward. These adaptations can wreak havoc on our musculoskeletal system causing plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, patellofemoral disorders, hip bursitis, disc degeneration/disease, rotator cuff sprains and strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches and temporomandibular joint disorder, to name a few.
Learn Better Sitting Habits to Decrease Back Pain
To begin addressing your sitting problems, start your day upright. Eat breakfast or drink your morning beverage standing up. You can even encourage better driving posture on the way to work by adjusting the rear view mirror. When you first get in the car sit up tall with good posture and adjust your rearview mirror so you can see clearly out the back of the car. If you find you cannot see clearly out of the mirror at any point when you are driving (because you have slumped down in the seat) correct your posture and sit up tall again rather than adjust the mirror.
To break up continuous stretches of sitting once you get to work, try to do any of all of the following throughout the day:
- stand up throughout the day whenever possible
- fidget while sitting to encourage a variety of seated postures
- convert your workstation to a standup desk
- use different chair types and alter computer heights frequently to provide some variability to your hips and spine
With a little creativity and some built-in reminders, you can motivate yourself to assume an assortment of positions throughout the day to help you avoid the pattern of constantly remaining seated and lessen the negative impact to your body.