Research studies show posture affects back pain while sitting. However, it also affects how you look, contributes astronomically to back pain and will impact your health.
One of the reasons there are so many more people suffering from back pain is due to the ever increasing amount of time they spend sitting. In a tech-driven society, where more and more is being done online, people are sitting folded and compressed for longer periods than ever before. In a typical day we might sit to eat, to work and then recline to relax and watch a show.
Additionally, cell phones, mobile devices, apps and tablets along with the availability of connecting to the internet anywhere lead to a sharp increase in the time people spend sitting.
Work From Home, Sitting & Back Pain
After spending the first half of 2020 sheltering in place because of Covid19 Coronavirus folks have become even more reliant on the internet. Activities like work or school, entertainment, eating out, shopping, visiting friends that kept us active and moving have been replaced with online services. We do our shopping with apps, and delivery services bring our purchases to the door. Restaurants have drivers deliver meals (and they are sitting while driving to you). We connect with friends by Zoom, Facebook or FaceTime (usually from a chair). Universities and K-12 are moving online, and our employers are increasingly urging us to work from home.
How do we accomplish all of this? Sitting.
If we spend a great deal of time sitting we’re literally bending forward and weakening our body’s muscles, and opening the door to injury and back pain. Meanwhile we’re also compressing our organs. Moreover our circulation, breathing and digestion are affected
When you experience back pain, and other body pain, you will automatically change the way you move to avoid what hurts. This compensation may help you not to continue to tweak what hurts, but it also trains your muscles and ligaments to move in a new pattern. Usually a pattern that is created to avoid back pain in the short term causes more pain and postural problems in the longer term. Unbalanced movement changes the way you walk, sit and move often causing uneven wear and new injuries. This cycle of the avoidance of pain leading ultimately to new and recurring pain is called the Pain Cycle.
How to Get Rid of Back Pain While Sitting
It’s unlikely that we’ll shift very quickly back to more active habits after Covid19. Especially with convenience at our fingertips, but you can make incremental changes to your posture and sitting habits. Consequently, this will make significant positive changes in how you feel.
Dealing with back pain after sitting is such a common problem. So much so that posture expert Dr. Steven Weiniger devoted a lesson to it in the 7 Steps to StrongPosture® program. After a full program of posture improvement techniques and exercises, Step 7 enlightens us on how to “Sit Strong.” Combining balance, flexibility and range of motion exercises, vestibular therapy, core strengthening, and the tools to move forward in life maintaining your improvements is the combination it takes to make lasting change.
Recently Dr. Steven Weiniger joined Pete on Morning News Live to explain that posture is a habit with significant health effects, one where training your body with consistent effort and then modifying your habits for good really makes a difference.
Listen to the interview
Dr. Steven Weiniger
1 Impairment of Proprioception in Young Adult Nonradicular Patients with Lumbar Derangement Syndrome, Marzena Olszewska-Karaban, Hindawi,BioMed Research International,Volume 2021, Article ID 5550257, 12 pages
3 Sung, P. S., Lee, D., & Hosmer, E. (2023). The dynamic postural steadiness and stabilization time between older adults with and without recurrent low back pain. Gait & Posture, 100, 114-119.
4 Stand Taller Live Longer- A Posture and Anti-aging Strategy, S Weiniger, BodyZone Press 2008