We all sit much more then we used to. The computer has made our lives much easier, but this convenience has taken a toll on our spines. In my opinion, we were not designed to sit as long as we do. Prolonged sitting increases the pressure on the discs of the spine, some studies say up to four times the pressure when compared to standing or lying down. Sitting at a computer all day also causes the neck to straighten out and the head to move forward. This condition is called forward head posture. If the spine stays in these altered positions for prolonged periods, it can lead to accelerated arthritis, pain, and dysfunction.
Well, what can you do? There are couple of things you can do. Make sure you office chair has proper lumbar support. When you sit, the normal curve in your lower back (lumbar spine) flattens out, this is why the pressure to the disc increases. A good chair with lumbar support will maintain this lumbar curve and take some of the pressure off of the discs. Take frequent breaks. Try to stand up every 30-45 minutes and slowly bend to the sides. You can also do a Hula type of exercise to help get the joints on the spine moving. Sitting on a sit disc can also help maintain the joints of the spine. Some patients also use standing desk to alleviate the pressure on their backs.
If you have any further questions shot me an email or come in to our Longmont, Colorado office for a personalized exercise program and ergonomic evaluation.