Back pain can be serious business. Over 80 percent of adults will experience back pain in their lifetime, so you’re not alone if you’ve experienced some sort of ache.
But what causes that pain?
It can be a variety of things: stress, fatigue, over-exertion. But one of the main causes of back pain is sitting incorrectly for long periods of time, over and over again. This can be when driving, working at the office or just sitting around the house.
Your lower back region is situated right below your ribcage and is often referred to as the lumbar region. It needs to be supported when in a sitting position, as it helps keep your spine aligned and supports you.
It’s when this area isn’t supported, or there are other conditions with the spine, that pain can appear.
How’s Your Sitting Posture?
Some may have just cringed when thinking about the answer to that question. Poor posture can wreak all sorts of havoc on your spinal health, and it’s most likely one of the main reasons you’re having back pain when you sit.
Most people will sit at a desk during work hours and not have the correct posture. They’re probably looking down at their laptop screen, phone or book. Their shoulders are hunched forward, making their bodies work harder to support their upper half.
The human head weighs about 10 pounds, so the more you look down, the more effort your muscles in your spine and neck have to put in to keep your top half supported.
How Long Do You Sit?
Are you working a 40-hour-a-week job that has you nestled in a cubicle in an office staring at a screen all day? Are you a driver of some sort who taxis people or goods around for a living?
Whatever job you have, if you sit for a long period of time, your back probably starts to feel it.
Research has shown that sitting for a prolonged period of time with no movement or break can be detrimental not only to your spinal health but also to your overall health. It puts pressure on your spine, slows your metabolism and can suck all the energy out of you.
Tips and Tricks for Sitting Correctly
Luckily, there are some ways to make sure you sit smart and avoid those aches and pains. Our best three pieces of advice would be:
Work On Your Posture
People didn’t tell you to stand up straight all the time as a kid for nothing. Having correct posture can help your overall health and the health of your spine. Then, when you sit, there’s less incorrect pressure throughout your spine.
Try to train yourself to notice when you’re slouched or hunched over, then correct this habit. Eventually, it will become more natural for you to check to make sure you’re sitting correctly.
Take Regular Breaks
Don’t stay sitting all day long. Make sure to take regular breaks from sitting, whether that be a bathroom break, a walk around the office or—better yet—a quick walk around the block.
You want to make sure your muscles are getting enough blood flow and your back is in motion to avoid stiffness and achiness.
Consider a Standing Desk (and All the Add-Ons!)
A standing desk is a desk that allows the user to stand when working. Most are adjustable by height and have other features that come with them. Research has shown these help reduce back pain, boost productivity and help with a person’s overall mood because their energy isn’t being depleted from sitting so long.
Other items you can get along with your standing desk would be a supportive chair that has a cushion for your lower back as well as cushioned armrests. Plus, you’ll burn more calories!
When All Else Fails, See A Professional
Sometimes even the best tips and tricks won’t work. That’s where professionals like us at the South Orange Chiropractic Center come in. We can work with you to create stretches and exercises that work best with your spine and daily activities.
Regular visits with the chiropractor can have a variety of benefits—not just the reduction of back pain but also a better sense of physical health, a more relaxed body and even lower blood pressure.
Head over to our website and fill out a contact form. We can’t wait to help you achieve the physical health you want.