Sitting at work every day and experiencing lower back pain? The following list outlines exactly what happens to your lower back with sitting, and what you can do about it.
1. During sitting, most people will eventually fall into a posterior pelvic tilt (as shown below).
What to do? Take a look at how your hips and knees line up while you are seated. Your hips should ideally be slightly higher than your knees with both of your feet firmly touching the ground or a level surface. If your knees and hips are level, raise your seat up slightly, bringing your hips higher than your knees. This can help to lessen the amount of posterior tilt of your pelvis.
2. Prolonged sitting forces the vertebrae of the lower back to remain in an “opened” position.
The vertebrae of the lower back should naturally “open” when we flex forward, but the spine does not appreciate staying in a flexed position for long periods of time. Realize that form does follow function: the longer that one sits with the vertebrae in “opened” positions, the harder it becomes for those joints to comfortably close.
What to do? You can teach yourself how to open and close the vertebral joints by performing “pelvic clock” exercises. (video below).
The great thing about performing the pelvic clock is that it can be performed on the ground, standing, or seated. You can even teach yourself to “clean your clock” while driving your car!
3. Prolonged sitting creates muscle imbalance largely through the weakening of the buttock muscles.
What to do? If you sit all day, make it a priority to perform strengthening exercises to strengthen your buttock muscles. There are many ways to do this. The most simple buttock exercise which can be done at work is as follows: Stand up and turn both of your feet outwards, then forcibly clench your buttocks for five seconds. Repeat ten times.