Sitting is the New Smoking

At present, urban society is in the middle of a back pain epidemic. Executives in software companies, accountants, bankers, designers and all those whose job entails prolonged periods of sitting are experiencing lower back pain. It is common for the orthopedic specialists at ZOI, Hyderabad, to encounter 5-10 young people walking in per day for a lower backache treatment.

To understand why it has become so common, we would have to analyze the evolution of humans. Humans evolved from walking on four legs to standing, after hundreds of years. But unfortunately, our spine is not yet adapted to prolonged periods of sitting. In modern society, we subject our spine to a restricted sitting position for 10-14 hours per day. This coupled with lack of fitness, obesity and stress worsens the existing condition.

It is imperative that the person takes certain precautions to prevent the condition from recurring.
Some steps one can take to avoid suffering from back pain are:

1. Adopt a correct posture while sitting.

ergonomic chair-posture

2. Take frequent breaks from sitting. Do not sit continuously for more than 40 mins. Take a break, walk around for 5 minutes, stretch or even stand and work.

3. Practice regular back and core strengthening exercises. Indulge in swimming, yogasana, pranayama or pilates for at least 20 minutes a day.

4. Avoid junk food as excess weight around the waist directly affects the spine and causes pain.

5. Invest in an ergonomic chair.

6. Avoid lying in a bent posture to read books or watch TV.

sitting bent posture

Most of these back pains are self-limiting and disappear with rest, lifestyle changes, massages and if needed anti-inflammatory medications. A person who has experienced back pain and has recovered must know that the pain they have experienced is the beginning of their battle with spinal problems. However, a mindful note of the tips mentioned above and the day-to-day practice of the same would most likely help anyone dodge the lower back pain epidemic.


Sitting Back pain exercises


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