We sit for in our car during our commute, sit at work, sit on the couch and at our home workstation. Sit, sit, sit, sit, sit. Obviously our body wasn’t designed to sit for days, months and years on end.
So, what can you do? The key to protecting the back is understanding that we need to find a better balance for our back and the stresses that we put on it.
Exercises are a great way to build back strength, flexibility and endurance. For example, yoga and Pilates promote strengthening muscles that support spine in a neutral posture.
Core stability exercises (e.g. theraballs, Bosu ball, floor exercises) are also great ways to strengthen the muscles that support our spine.
Hip mobility exercises (e.g. floor exercises, Yoga, Pilates) – specific stretches and exercises for hips and thigh muscles which can cause muscle imbalances and impact the function and posture of the low back
Microbreaks and stretch breaks – If you spend 8 hours on the computer, shouldn’t you at least give your back a break for a few seconds? Try to get up from your workstation as frequently as possible. Doing a back bend is a great way to “rebalance” your back if you have been working for a long time. Installing microbreak software like WorkRave is a great way to develop good habits.
Stand rather than sit – Try to incorporate brief standing task and breaks into your work day. Walk to the photocopier, stand to answer the phone, or just stretch back in your chair periodically for a change of position.