Back Pain Clinic, Specialists in Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Massage

Sitting to Live…A Clear Path To a Bad Back.

By Andrew Siyabalawatte, Dec 2021.

Without a doubt, one of the biggest causes of lower back pain in men and women, is prolonged sitting.

Sitting forces muscles to hold the head, neck, shoulders and back, in a fixed position.

This demand forces the blood vessels to work harder by increasing blood pressure, which in turn, reduces the

blood supply to the working muscles over time, especially when they need it most.

Is it Better to Sit or Stand at Work?

Unlike sitting, standing for a period of time has been shown to have some a positive effect on metabolism

according to Harvard Health, however, it is the “balancing of weight distribution” throughout the body which

in my opinion, is the most profound benefit standing has over sitting.

Standing improves the chain of loading through the body, as the body works as a unit to distribute the

weight (of the body and ofcourse, gravity) more evenly, unlike that of the adaptive compensation mechanism

sitting undergoes to meet the demands of the environment.

Is Sitting the Most Common Cause of Lower Back Pain?

Traditional office chairs forces your legs into a 90-degree angle and cut off the blood flow to your feet, this set up causes back pain whilst sitting.

There are many causes of back pain, I would say sitting is the most common predisposition to chronic back

pain, considering a good majority of people in the working world are involved in predominantly desk based

computer/laptop work. Given the attention by media over the last couple of years on posture, especially for

those working from home without a proper desk set up, there is now more than ever an increased awareness

regarding posture and back pain nowadays on how to combat this.

Advice and Recommendations

Key Points-

Where long hours sitting for work is unavoidable, there are some interventions that can be incorporated into this environment.

  • Keeping a small distance between the legs, knees dropped below the hips, and pelvis tilted forward
  • correct amendments to computer screen height, to keep back of head and neck resting on shoulders.

The benefit of a “saddle chair” is understated as It allows your spine to rest in its natural position. This means

your weight is distributed properly to the lower half of your body, your core is engaged along with the back,

which provides support to alleviate strain on the low back, and help prevent long term chronic back pain.

My best advice is to stand, stretch and move around at regular intervals as movement is key to feeling

healthy and to keep you going strong throughout the day.

If your are suffering from any form of back pain that is not easing, please do not hesitate to get in touch with

us. After all, our motto is to “strengthen your body to suit your environment, instead of just changing the

environment to suit your body”.

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