Are you aware that the MOST compressive force you put on your lower back is the seated position? Feel the tops of your hips with your hands and then move toward the spine – from that area downward is where the majority of pressure goes when you sit. Over time this can cause significant health problems. Today I’d like to share 6 things you can do to help yourself avoid those problems.
1. Get up, stand up. Even small (30 seconds to 1 minute) breaks from the seated position can break the cycle of downward pressure. Try to stand up every 20 minutes or so even if only for a brief time, it will make a big difference.
2. Eat better. Poor nutrition will not only cause inflammation but will also weaken the spine. This makes you far more susceptible to lower back pain while sitting. Add in more fruits, vegetables and healthy foods (anti-inflammatory) while drinking less soda and sugary drinks and increasing your water intake.
3. Get to the core of the issue. The muscles that stabilize your spine are very small and deep. To activate them choose 2-3 exercises (you can search Google for core exercises) that you will commit to doing 4-7 times per week. My two favorites are “posterior pelvic tilts” and “bridges” which I do daily in less than 5 minutes.
4. Move it or lose it. Sitting in traffic and while at work is likely out of your control. What is under your control however is what you do when you’re not sitting. Exercise a minimum of 20 minutes per day 4 days per week so that your musculoskeletal system is strong and able to withstand the compression of sitting for so long.
5. Improve your work space. Switching to standing desks, getting a better chair, adjusting chair height, increasing the lower back support on their chairs (with a pad, etc) and altering the position of their keyboard and screen are just a few of the most common solutions my patients mention that have helped their backs while at work. If you think your work space isn’t ideal I’d recommend researching some tips for improving it.
6. Get adjusted. When your spine becomes misaligned even simple activities (such as sitting) may become increasingly painful. Additionally, misalignments that remain in the spine for months or years can lead to arthritic changes and damage. Regular spinal checkups are a simple way to prevent this from occurring while making you feel great.
Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in motivating and helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit www.NewBodyChiro.com, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.