Are you Sitting for too long?

Most of us know that prolonged sitting is bad for our spinal health, but unfortunately for many of us we find ourselves sitting down for hours at a time whether that be at work, in the car or at home. In this video we go through some reasons that prolonged sitting causes low back pain.

Movement is important:

Our spines are designed to move, and if we already have low back problems, prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms such as pain and stiffness.

Why does sitting cause pain in the low back?

When we are standing, the weight of out torso is transferred down the low back and into our legs. When we are sitting, all that weight is loaded completely into the low back.


Cornell University Ergonomics Web (1) found that Sitting leads to 40 to 90 percent more stress on the back (disc pressure) than standing posture.

The posture of our spine is dependent on regular movement and flexibility throughout the day to maintain proper curves and alignment. Sitting down for long periods of the day in a bad posture can compress the low back, add strain to the joints, and can actually decrease the curve in our low back.

What to do to help your low back:

To minimise the stress on the low back, we need to maintain good spinal alignment.  Many of us think that by doing 30-60 minutes of exercise a day will balance out the 7 – 8 hours and more,  a day spent sitting. Unfortunately, this isn’t true.

To help maintain good alignment try these simple tips:

  • Get up every 30 minutes. The longer you’re sitting for, the more likely it is that your posture will suffer.
  • Get up and stretch. This will help reset your posture and relieve the constant strain on your low back
  • Ensure you are not sitting on your wallet or your phone. This will cause an imbalance in your pelvis which can transfer up the spine
  • Keep feet flat on the ground and avoid crossing your legs. This will help maintain proper alignment of the pelvis and the hips which can reduce the chance of aggravation in the low back


Reference 1.

Lisa Smycz 

If you would like to know more about what ideal posture looks like, then CLICK HERE.  

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