Get moving to prevent low back pain!
Low back pain is one of the most common ailments which can affect people of all ages and abilities.
“Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost work days in one year—that's two work days for every full-time worker in the country.”
- The American Chiropratic Association
Research suggests that upwards of 80% of the population will suffer back pain at some point in their lives. The cause of back pain varies individual to individual, but common causes include a slipped disc or herniation, sciatica, muscle strain, a degenerative disc, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis and a sedentary lifestyle. Though many individuals with back pain search for non surgical solutions, over half a million a year will undergo back surgery for lower back pain alone. In order to prevent the need for surgery, there is one thing most individuals can start doing today, and that is to get moving!
A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause for lower back pain. Sitting for long periods can cause an individual’s posture to slouch causing a “C” shape curve in the spine. This incorrect posture then distributes the weight of the body unevenly across the spine creating pressure on the body’s joints, muscles and discs. As a result, unwanted pain in the back creeps in.
Now let’s clarify “what is the definition of a non-sedentary life?” To put it simply, it’s one where you move more than you sit. This can be rather difficult when working 8+ hours a day sitting at a desk. Many who would traditionally be sitting behind a desk at work often adopt a standing desk to avoid sitting for long periods of time. Though this seems like a reasonable solution, it does not meet the non-sedentary life requirement. Though having the option to sit and stand is best, standing just like sitting for long periods can result in improper posture.
If desk work is a part of the job, a standing and sitting option would be ideal with the goal to move as much as reasonably possible and create proper blood circulation for the body. A regular exercise regimen is also a key to successfully living a non sedentary life. In fact here are a few ideas to help you get started moving more and hurting less.
- Schedule walking meetings.
- Create a walking/running club at lunch with colleagues.
- Walk to communicate instead of calling, emailing, or texting.
- Park the furthest from the office entrance.
- Take the stairs to another bathroom or printer.
- March in place at your standing desk.
- Plan at least four 5-10 minute move breaks a day.
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey