Tuesday 13 August 2019

Is Sitting Really Killing Your Back?

Welcome to the 21st century, where the average hours of sitting per person seem to be on the rise. And with that, we increasingly discuss the role of all of those seated hours on our health.

We've all heard about how sitting is the new smoking, and it makes perfect sense. More sitting automatically means less exercise, which is a clear pathway toward an all manner of health concerns such as cardiac illness and obesity.

But what about the effects of sitting, specifically, on our back pain?

It should be of no surprise that an increase in the number of sitting hours is correlated closely with an increase in back pain.

With that being said, standing desks are the answer, right? Well, unfortunately, standing without the option to sit is also shown to relate to back pain.

What information online usually fails to show us is how other factors, such as frequency of breaks from the static working posture, come into play.

In fact, the larger increase in back pain is shown to occur in prolonged sitters who have fewer interruptions from their positions. Meanwhile, those who regularly moved from their chairs (whether it was for work away from the desk or a deliberate break) were shown to circumvent back pain much more easily.

We found one small study that looked closely at cycling between three different static working postures to show a significant decrease in overall discomfort.

All in all, it should be emphasized that the only bad posture is the one held for too long. Regular breaks from your working position, whether it's sitting or standing, will be the most effective piece of the puzzle to avoid discomfort.

It's time to quit worrying about how we sit and just take those quick moments throughout the day to interrupt the sitting.


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