Updated: Feb 15, 2020
Do you work in a profession that involves sitting for hours on end? Do you ever wonder if your spine is affected by prolonged sitting? Do you have back pain that occurred gradually and you’re unsure of the cause? Do you get back pain, headaches, migraines, jaw tension, or neck stiffness?
If you’ve ever wondered what the consequences of sitting too long are – check out this blog https://www.deepphysio.com/single-post/2017/10/13/The-Negative-Impacts-of-Sitting, from our Physiotherapist Julie Alexander. There are many negative consequences of sitting, and some experts are even going as far to call sitting the new smoking!
Here are six tips to deal with back pain associated with sitting too much:
1. Get assessed by a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist is trained in assessing posture and biomechanics, and will tell you how you're sitting posture may contribute to your pain. In conjunction with your physiotherapy treatments, there are many other effective treatments that can get you out of pain, such as massage therapy, acupuncture, K laser, or tuning forks. Your Physiotherapist or Kinesiologist will also give you exercises to help you stretch and release the culprit tissues and activate and strengthen the weak ones.
2. Consider your sitting posture. Ask a co-worker to take a photo of you at work and look at how you are sitting. Do you look more like picture Number One or Two?
3. Monitor your time spent using phones and tablets. Take note of how long you are using handheld electronics such as phones and tablets. Do you find yourself craning your neck to look down at a screen for hours on end?
4. Move often! Do you find yourself sitting for hours on end being productive at work (or binge watching Netflix), and you haven’t moved once? For every hour of sitting you need 10 minutes for mobility work to offset the negative side effects! Practice using the 30 minute rule at work and home – never sit longer than 30 minutes. If your 30 minutes is up and you still have work to do in a seated position, take a short break to walk and stretch; then return to your sitting. This break can be as short as one-two minutes long, get up and go get a drink of water, walk the length of a hallway, do one flight of stairs, or do your exercises from your Physiotherapist or Kinesiologist. Then return to sitting – even if you sit for 8+ hours per day, you can repeat your 30 minute rule multiple times a day. You will likely notice less tension and pain by the end of the day, and you may even notice your focus and productivity at work improve!
5. Move well when you’re not sitting. Book in for an appointment with our highly talented Kinesiologists who will screen your movement and explain how you may not be moving as efficiently as you could be. They will then give you an exercise program that can address your fitness goals while also incorporating corrective exercises that prevent future injury and help reduce the tension from pre-existing problematic areas. We have started a new mobility class at Deep Physio called Mobilization Nation – in this class you will learn a variety of techniques to improve your movement quality and mobility. Pilates and yoga classes at Deep Physio are also great options to strengthen, stretch, and relieve stress.
6. Get an onsite ergonomic assessment. One of our Kinesiogists, Sylive Piche is qualified in looking at ergonomics in the workplace. An ergonomic assessment ensures that a worker's workstation is ergonomically designed to minimize the risk of injury and to maximize productivity.
What's in the report?
ergonomic equipment recommendations
information about the workstation and/or tools and equipment required to perform job duties
musculoskeletal (MSK) hazards identified
ergonomic workstation changes applied during assessment as well as any further recommendations that were unable to be completed during initial assessment
education regarding MSK hazards
raw workstation measurements
Ergonomics can have a variety of uses in the workplace. For example, ergonomics can be used to;
MSK risk factor assessment and intervention
decrease the risk of injury
enhance worker productivity
improve the quality of work life
Call Deep today to find out what option is best for you to address your pain and prevent future injury!
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Until next time ☺
Courtney Reich, MSc PT, BKin