7 Simple Techniques to Preventing Back Pain Whilst Sitting at a Desk

It is estimated that 90% of people today suffer from back pain.

This is caused from a sedentary life where they are sitting behind a desk. The human body is not designed to be stagnant or in one position for any lengthy period of time. For this reason sitting behind a desk for a long period of time can cause or exacerbate lower back pain. I, too, suffered from back pain and this is my personal story.

I was not happy with my outer appearance so for many years I had been training at the gym focusing on the areas that I wanted to ‘look’ good. However, I neglected to focus on the most important area, my core abdominal muscles.

Years of sitting at a desk in the corporate realm with poor abdominal strength had taken its toll.

At 31 years of age I had lower back surgery. I attribute my recovery to hours of hydrotherapy pool sessions and pilates. For this reason it is now my number one focus when exercising. I focus on working on my inner and lower back, abdominal muscles and heart muscle before I work on my outer physical appearance.

Through my recovery I now have knowledge of preventative techniques that will help to drastically reduce the risk of back problems and back pain by utilising these simple techniques when sitting for any length of time:

1. Ensure you are sitting on an ergonomic designed chair that is to Australian standards (or the standards of the country in which you reside).

2. With feet flat on the floor, ensure the seat pan (which you are sitting on) is tilted slightly forward (not back) to ensure pressure is taken off the lower back.

3. Ensure the back rest, is placed high up so that the lumbar area is fully supported by the chair.

4. Screen height should be at eye level (not lower) to correctly align your neck.

5. Get up and move every hour. Go for a small walk, take a loo break, take a few flights of stairs. It does not matter what it is as long as you get up and move.

6. Stretch your pectoral muscles (chest) regularly as sitting at a desk tends to roll your shoulders forward giving a hunched appearance.

7. Engage your core abdominal muscles. Consistently build up your core strength so that you naturally engaged it 30% which will allow you to sit up straight and not let it all hang out!

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