According to recent reports, sitting more than 11 hours a day can increase a person’s risk of premature death by 40% compared to those who sit for less than four hours a day. Other studies have found prolonged sitting can lead to certain cancers, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Simply stated, the longer a person sits, the shorter their lifespan.
Sitting for long periods of time can also have a negative impact on a person’s spine. Poor sitting posture combined with a person’s body weight puts extra pressure on areas of the spine, causing misalignment. Unfortunately, sitting for such long periods of time can also lead to whole-body fatigue, which can cause a person to hunch at their desk. All of these actions can lead to aches and pain in the back, as well as circulatory problems throughout the body.
Having said that, it’s imperative patients take the time to perform certain exercises and take frequent breaks away from their desk. There are a number of stretches and small exercises that can be performed at the desk as well. Below are a few tips for preventing back pain related to sitting all day:
- Perform “squats” by sitting in your desk chair and standing back up without using your hands for support. Try to perform 10-12 reps every hour or two to help increase blood flow and circulation.
- Shrug your shoulders and move your head from side to side to release tension in the upper back and neck. You can repeat this up to ten times for moderate to severe back pain.
- Flex your calves and thighs 10-12 times every hour or two to help release tension and strengthen these muscle groups.
- If your office has a flight of stairs you can walk up and down, try to set aside 5 minutes in the morning and afternoon to climb them. This helps boost blood flow and pump more oxygen to the brain, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity.
- According to the U.S. News & World Report, 86% of Americans are confined to their desks for work.
- Medical research has exposed the dangers of sitting all day, and the scientific community has coined the phrase “sitting disease” for people affected by prolonged sitting.
- Dr. Mark Giovanini of NeuroMicroSpine is explaining the negative health effects of maintaining a sedentary lifestyle and how the sitting disease affects the spine.
For more information on whether spinal surgery is necessary for your condition, or to make an appointment with the doctors at NeuroMicroSpine, please call (850) 934-7545 or click here to request an appointment. We hope to see you soon!
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician's advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.