How our sitting posture effects our back

Our back muscles are not weak to begin with. And till (mainly) last decade, back problems without any injury were unheard off. It’s only over time, due to lifestyle changes , that it becomes weak and problem starts. Mostly this weakness starts from small things we ignore in beginning, like how we sit & lack of movement of our back muscles (esp. lower back). Slowly, these muscles harden up and get reduced supply of blood. and that leads to slow onset of problems in muscles, tendons and nerves in back region.

In current scenario, these situations can be attributed to our job profiles. Major part of jobs are, all day, sitting jobs. Even this post, you must be reading while sitting somewhere(Observe your posture and sit straight :). Add to that, the commuting to and fro to our place of work. This reduced span of movements, start to hurt our back,both at muscles level as well as spine level.

It has recently been researched and published, that lower back pain is emerging as leading cause of absenteeism from work place. This itself shows, how cause is also related to something we do all day :o !!

Sitting posture

Important Observation:

Less than 2–3% of the patients with chronic back problem will need surgical intervention. But more importantly patients should not opt for quick fixes and magic cures.

This means, most of problems related to back pain, can be solved by proper care and movements. Overall this is very simplified explanation of the issue, because understanding our back(spine and muscles) is not as simple as talking about our forearms. Our back area has spinal column which within itself is made up of 32 vertebrate, then our nerves run through that area along with muscles supporting our spine and handling our posture. You can read more about it in this article.

As per yogic understanding more or less health of your back decides your health. Hence, within itself yoga asana practice is an effective solution to strengthen your back. A proper yoga class is designed to give you a gentle and safe approach to work with your body. This approach works on your back muscles in progressive way to give you a healthy back and healthy body. For now, here are the few pointers, which you can use immediately for help your back.

Update 06/Aug/16: This post appeared in TOI dated 19th Oct 2015 about a research conducted in India itself about effects of sedentary work profile on employees back

How to sit on office chair:

  • Push yourself back on your chair, till your hips and lower back are touching the backrest. Don’t slouch with your lower back.
  • Use your armrests, to relax your shoulders.
  • Adjust your chair to such height that your feet are flat on floor and thighs are parallel to ground.
  • Keep your monitor/laptop screen at level with your eyes. Not down.
  • Take breaks on regular interval to walk around a little.

Even with these pointers, your back is taken care of. When you are aware about your posture, the chances of bad posture goes down, and along with that the harm it can cause. So keep working, but with due care to your body.