Sitting for prolonged periods of time has become a common aspect of modern life, especially for office workers who spend most of their working hours seated in front of a computer. However, prolonged sitting has been linked to various health problems, including back pain. In this essay, we will discuss how sitting too much can cause back pain, and provide five tips to relieve back pain for office workers.
The human body is not designed to remain seated for long periods of time. The spine is composed of 24 vertebrae and intervertebral discs that provide support and allow for movement. Prolonged sitting puts immense pressure on the lower back and lumbar region, causing strain and discomfort. Additionally, sitting for long periods of time can cause the muscles to become weak and stiff, leading to poor posture and further strain on the back.
Studies have shown that sitting for extended periods can increase the likelihood of developing low back pain (LBP). A systematic review of studies on the effects of prolonged sitting on LBP showed that prolonged sitting can increase the risk of LBP by up to 50% (Aarnio, Riihimäki, Taimela, Kankaanpää, & Kalimo, 2009). This is because prolonged sitting can cause the intervertebral discs to become compressed, leading to increased pressure on the nerves and leading to pain and discomfort.
In order to relieve back pain caused by prolonged sitting, there are several steps that office workers can take. These include:
Taking frequent breaks: Regularly getting up and moving around can help to alleviate pressure on the lower back and prevent stiffness.
Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises can help to loosen tight muscles and reduce strain on the back.
Improving posture: Maintaining good posture while seated can help to reduce pressure on the lower back and prevent strain.
Using ergonomic equipment: Investing in ergonomic office equipment, such as a comfortable chair with good lumbar support, can help to reduce the strain on the back.
Strengthening exercises: Engaging in regular physical activity, such as yoga or Pilates, can help to strengthen the muscles and reduce the risk of back pain.
In conclusion, prolonged sitting can lead to back pain due to the increased pressure on the lower back and lumbar region. Office workers can take several steps to relieve back pain, including taking frequent breaks, stretching, improving posture, using ergonomic equipment, and engaging in strengthening exercises. By taking these steps, office workers can reduce the risk of back pain and maintain their health and well-being.
Aarnio, P., Riihimäki, H., Taimela, S., Kankaanpää, M., & Kalimo, R. (2009). Work-related physical and psychosocial factors as predictors of low back pain: a prospective study. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 35(6), 453-460.