10 ways to prevent back pain: #5 Limit Sitting and Bending We all have to sit and bend over as it is just part of life. However, a large predictor for back pain episodes is the amount we sit per day and/or the number of times we bend over. A healthy back should be able to withstand up to 10,000 bends a day. When things go wrong is when we lift, move, and sit with poor posture day in and day out. If you are someone that sits a lot, you are not only predisposing yourself to episodes of back pain, but also to numerous other
health problems. Research performed by Katzmarzyk et al has shown that those that sit more than 8 hours per day despite whether they exercise or not, have increased risks for heart disease, joint/muscle issues, and other health problems.
Take frequent breaks when having to sit at work. Perform exercises such as bruggers position standing or seated to help give your body microbreaks.
Try alternating between sitting, standing, and treadmill desks. Take phone calls on a blue tooth and walk around your office or outside, rather than staying seated. You will also find that when you give yourself micorbreaks you can be more productive at work. It is just not possible to give your full undivided attention for hours at a time without taking breaks.
Employees at google are required to take scheduled breaks and on their breaks they can play ping pong, pool, exercise, stretch, do chores, get a massage, etc. They have found these breaks to increase productivity, decrease work related injuries, and improve overall happiness at work. What company wouldn’t want this.
People who work manual labor jobs and don’t sit at all, often suffer from back pain due to their repeated bending over they have to do day in and day out to work. When picking things up, gardening, pulling weeds, etc squat down to lift things up or work on the ground. Avoid being in bad spinal positions for long periods of time whether bending over at you low back to do gardening or sitting at your computer.
Hope you enjoyed the blog and see you next week.
Dr Ryan Dunn D.C.
Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 May;41(5):998-1005. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181930355.