While millions of people work full-time jobs that require them to sit for extended periods of time, many may not realize just how detrimental sitting all day is to the back. Sitting puts, at least, double the stress on the spine as opposed to standing. And if the body slouches when sitting it increases that pressure even more. Movement is vital to incorporate throughout the day as disks in the spine act as shock absorbers in the body and if the body remains still, these disks do not receive the necessary nutrients they need which lead to tightness and pain. Massage is an excellent way to reduce pain caused by too much sitting. Aside from massage you should also try:
• Changing position: Set a timer to remind you to get up, move, or stretch. If you get up at least every half hour your body will thank you.
• Lumbar Support: Supporting the lumbar by way of a lumbar roll or pad can significantly assist in providing support for the lower back, which decreases pain and allows for further support. Lumbar rolls are approximately 6” in diameter and assist support the natural curve of the spine. They can also be utilized in the car or virtually any chair.
• Stand Up: Some offices are opting to provide their employees with raised desks to encourage standing up which not only encourages strength in your spine but also burn more calories. Ask your employer if one of these desks may be an option that can be provided, if it is not, ask if perhaps you can bring in your own! Standing at the desk can still be an option even with standard desks; raise the screen and keyboard by propping them up with books or boxes to avoid slouching over while working.
• Work Out: Working out on your breaks can be an incredibly effective way to cope with back pain from sitting. If you have regular breaks, use this time to head outside and take a short walk, even if it is just around the parking lot. If eating at your desk is an option, eat during office hours and use the time for your lunch break to walk or even hit the local gym to stretch and sneak in a quick workout!
• Water: Water is a natural lubricant for joints and muscles. When the body does not receive enough of this lubricant, joints and muscles become tight and aching leading to pain and stiffness. Ensuring adequate water consumption throughout the day can greatly assist in reducing back and neck pain, stiffness and inflammation that may be caused by sitting.