Do you feel lower back pain when sitting long hours at the office?
Several of my clients have literally burst into tears because they didn’t expect to spend most of their life sitting in front of a computer all day.
How are many hours do you sit in one day? Now, add up the hours over a year. Do you think sitting has an effect on your body?
Sitting for long hours in one position can add strain and fatigue to the lower back.
To help you feel better, I will share 3 of my favorite tips to avoid lower back pain when sitting during those long days at the office.
What contributes to lower back pain when sitting?
It's common to hear from your doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor that slouching causes lower back pain. Is it true? Does slouching lead to lower back pain?
The answer is not black and white. It depends on how long you maintain the slouched posture. Sitting in a slouched posture for 15-minutes is unlikely to cause any harm; however, sitting in a slouched posture for 60-minutes can fatigue the lower back potentially leading to pain.
In fact, holding any posture for too long may potentially increase pain.
The factors contributing to lower back pain are different for each person; however, people with similar jobs may demonstrate similar pain characteristics.
For example, people who sit all day may benefit from similar exercises. The three tips below should help a large group of people who have lower back pain when sitting for long hours at work.
How can you avoid lower back pain when sitting?
Here are three recommendations that will benefit most people who sit too much:
1) Improve the position of your spine.
2) Frequently change the position of your spine.
3) Move the spine in different positions.
Furthermore, here are three practical tips to implement these recommendations into your daily routine:
Tip #1: Try sitting with the Evercore Lumbar Roll
Sitting posture is important for long-term spine health; however, there is no inherently good or bad posture. If there is no good or bad posture, then why would sitting posture be important for long-term spine health?
First, we need to define posture. There are several definitions. For this article, I am simply defining posture as the position of your spine. When you hear the word "posture", you can think of the word "position" and vice versa.
For many people, prolonged slouching is often a trigger for lower back pain. More often than not, my clients experience reduced lower back pain when using the Evercore low back support because it helps to maintain the spine in a comfortable position during the day.
The neutral position of the spine is comfortable for most people. What is the neutral position of the spine? It closely resembles the position of the spine while standing upright for most people.
However, when sitting for long hours, it becomes challenging to maintain a neutral or upright position. Consequently, many people adopt a slouched sitting posture.
As mentioned before, there is nothing wrong with slouching; however, prolonged slouching tends to aggravate lower back pain for many people.
The length of time spent in a slouched position may play a role with your lower back pain; therefore, you will likely benefit from maintaining your spine in a more comfortable position during the day using the Evercore low back support during those long days at the office.
The spine is supported in a better position to alleviate strain on the lower back when sitting for long hours.
Tip #2: Stand up every 45 minutes and complete 10 squats.
We live in a digital world and many jobs require us to sit in front of the computer for long hours. One of the most beneficial actions you can take is to stand up out of your office chair every 45 minutes.
Set a timer on your smartphone, smartwatch, or Fitbit to remind yourself. Once the alarm goes off, stand up and complete 10 squats.
Squats are an efficient way to increase hip strength and promote mobility through your spine, hips, knees, and ankles with one movement. It only takes a minute to perform 10 squats and the benefits will far outweigh the time commitment to complete them.
The only thing separating you from a pain-free lower back may be remembering to move at regular intervals throughout the day.
Stand up every 45 minutes.
Do 10 squats to keep your body moving.
Tip #3: Extend Backwards.
During the day, the spine typically bends forward (slouching) more often than it bends backward. As discussed above, prolonged slouching can trigger pain in the lower back.
Bending backward at regular intervals during the day can alleviate strain and pain on the lower back because the spine needs a variety of movement.
Sitting in front of the computer all day is not the ideal picture of movement variety. Perhaps, this lack of movement is one reason for your experience of lower back pain when sitting.
In the clinic, I have many clients who rapidly reduce their lower back pain by bending backward every 2-3 hours during the day.
If you do not have lower back pain, this exercise can be done to help you prevent lower back pain. If you are currently in lower back pain, then you should consult with your physical therapist to determine if this exercise is right for you.
Place the hands on the lower back with the fingers pointed downward.
Bend backwards 10 times to promote movement variety in the spine.
Watch this video for demonstrations of these three tips to reduce lower back pain when sitting:
A recommendation from one of the world’s most influential physical therapists:
Robin McKenzie is one of the world’s most influential physical therapists who developed the McKenzie Method. The McKenzie Method is an assessment framework used by physical therapists around the world to treat musculoskeletal pain.
In an interview, he was asked this question before he passed away:
“What would be the one piece of advice you would give people to take care of their backs?”
Robin McKenzie replied, “The thing that would benefit more people in one hit would be to ensure that everyone sits properly. And if a person is not being told by a therapist how to look after his problem, then he should change his therapist.”
I am certified in the McKenzie Method and I have recommended hundreds of McKenzie lumbar rolls for my clients in the clinic because it helps to reduce their lower back pain.
There were a few features that I didn’t like about the McKenzie lumbar roll so I decided to improve a few of these features and design my own low back support.
The Evercore Lumbar Roll is based on the design of the McKenzie lumbar roll because this design has helped tens of thousands of people reduce lower back pain when sitting.
I believe the Evercore Lumbar Roll is the best low back support for office chairs available. Of course, every person has individual preferences, but most of my clients love it.
The Evercore Lumbar Roll can be strapped around your chair to maintain the arch of your spine. It can help to reduce strain and fatigue on the lower pain when sitting.
Click here to learn more about the Evercore Lumbar Roll. (currently out of stock)
Do you need additional help to reduce lower back pain when sitting?
These 3 tips to reduce and avoid lower back pain when sitting are applicable for most people who sit in front of their computer all day. If you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, then now is the time to make a change. What is your next step?
I recommend you schedule an assessment with a physical therapist certified in the McKenzie Method.
Your physical therapist will work with you to determine what exercises or behavioral modifications you can implement to provide long-lasting pain relief.
If you still have pain, then join one of our free Facebook support groups to learn about other techniques. Also, many people are helped by Active Atoms Turmeric Extract to systemic pain and inflammation. Learn more below.