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What can I do if my back hurts because I sit all day at work?

Ryan Church, DNP
Nursing
There are some tricks for avoiding back pain due to office jobs where you sit all day. One of them is to not sit all day. That may sound obvious, but there are some really good desks out there now that are convertible. In other words, you can raise and lower the desks so you can spend part of your day standing and part of your day sitting. You can change it up quite a bit.

Take frequent breaks. Get up and walk around. There's some fairly decent literature that talks about how sitting is the new obesity, or sitting is the new diabetes. It's really important that we don't spend a lot of time sitting down.

General fitness is always a good way to keep your back healthy. You want to do exercises that strengthen the back such as yoga, Pilates or swimming. The recumbent bicycle and elliptical machines are both very good. Finally, a physical therapist can help you learn how to take good care of your back.
Back pain from sitting all day is likely do to having weakened core muscles and sitting slightly forward such is at a computer desk decreases range of motion and creates tightness in the back. This lack of range of motion will cause pain and discomfort. To eliminate this pain and discomfort strengthen the muscles of the core and increase range of motion by stretching tightened muscles. Getting up and moving around occasionally will also decrease pain in the low back.  Some examples of good core strengthening exercises include the plank, hold for 5-10 seconds repeat 5-10 times. For flexibility foam roll any tight or sensitive area and hold for 30 seconds.
Sadie Lincoln
Sadie Lincoln on behalf of barre3
Fitness
In a chair, most people hunch their back and sink their chests, letting their belly sag forward, and tuck the pelvis under. This flattens the normal curve of your low back and weakens the muscles there, and it can cause pain. Anything that strengthens the core will help the alignment of your whole spine. Standing periodically throughout the day, and stretching with upper back bends and chest openers, is a good idea too. We love our standing desk at barre3 headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.