If you have ever had a long day at work sitting in your office chair all day, you will very likely have experienced lower back pain at some point. Sitting all day can very bad for the spine – more so if you do not have a chair that fully supports your back. If you do not sit up straight, you can end up with even more pain.
How does sitting lead to lower back pain, and, more importantly, what can you do to relieve and prevent this pain? Keep reading to find out.
How Does Sitting Lead to Lower Back Pain?
The human body is not made to sit in one position for long periods. When you are sitting, you may experience lower back pain from the way your spine is positioned, especially if you are hunched forward as you sit. Sitting puts far more pressure on the back than standing. If you have poor posture, there is a far greater risk of pain. Although sitting short periods may not cause pain, sitting for extended periods can put a lot of pressure on your back. Here are some of the ways that sitting can affect your lower back.
Looking downwards and tipping your head forward.
If you are sitting in a way that moves your back forward and your neck forward, your spine will be at an awkward angle. The head weighs a lot and when it is tipping forward, the muscles in your neck and back have to work harder than usual. This tension travels down into the rest of your back. When you sit like this every day, you will soon start to feel the effects.
Leaning forward from your lower back.
Hunching over that keyboard or sitting on the couch with your phone and leaning forward from the lower back will very quickly lead to pain. This position puts pressure in your lower spine, compressing your discs and putting you at risk of injury. Sitting upright with your spine in neutral will take away that risk and leave you feeling far more comfortable in the long run.
Sitting for too long.
Sitting for long periods without taking a break to get up and walk around or stretch is never a good idea. Ideally, you want to avoid sitting in the same position for more than half an hour. Get up, go make coffee, take a bathroom break or even do a quick stretch and then sit back down again.
Using the wrong chair.
There is a reason that office chairs are designed a specific way. They are meant to support the back by ensuring that your spine is in the correct position. They have to reduce pressure along the spine, keeping your head in the right position and making it harder to slump. When sitting at your desk, make sure that you sit close to the desk so that your arms are not extended too far. It can also help to keep your computer at the right height so that you are not looking downwards all day.