As technology and convenience continue to play a major role in our lives, we find ourselves spending more time sitting down or trying to find a place to sit. Much of our day is spent in a seated position, whether it’s the drive to work, a desk job, classroom or sitting to eat or watch television; we spend far too much time seated. Our love of sitting has led to an increase of postural issues and high percentages of back pain affecting most adults at some point during their lives.
Sitting places the hip flexors in a shortened position, which if done frequently can lead to the pelvis rotating forward (anterior pelvis tilt), excess curvature of the lumbar spine (altered lumbar lordosis) and lower back pain. Another issue with sitting for long periods of time is rounding of the upper back from leaning forward to view computer screens or documents, which can lead to neck strain, rotator cuff injury and headaches.
Tips for preventing injuries linked to prolonged sitting
Take a Break
- Take a five minute break every hour to stand up and stretch
- Start implementing self-myofascial release in your flexibility program, prior to and after your workout
Get a Posture-Friendly Chair
- Ask your employer to invest into ergonomic chairs (tell them it can help increase productivity and lower insurance costs by reducing back and neck injuries)
It is ironic that what seems to be beneficial and comfortable can cause so many issues. Try giving up your seat or trying some of the tips mentioned above to keep your posture in line and prevent unwanted trips to the doctor’s office.