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Is Sitting Ruining Your Back At Work?

office-chair-postureMost clients who come to see us all have one thing in common, they sit at a desk for a minimum of 6 hours per day. Research has shown that sitting increases the forces in your lumbar spine by 65% and this is only after 30 minutes!

So with October being Back Care Month at Carl Irwin Chiropractic here are our top tips to help look after your back while sitting:

When sitting, take regular breaks and sit in the correct posture. Lets deal with the regular breaks first:

  • Get out of the chair and stand/walk for a couple of minutes every half an hour. This takes the strain off the lower back and wakes up the muscles. After which you can sit down again for the next 30 minute period. Often this is not practical, for example a long meeting or especially driving.
    • In these situations, you can clench your buttocks 5 times and/or rock your pelvis forward and back (slightly so as to be discreet). This will go towards waking up the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis as described above.

Onto maintaining a good the posture while sitting:

  • Our key tip to each patient when sitting is to “Have your bum higher than your knees”. This means that there is a slant downwards from hip to knee when looking from the side. By doing this you are tilting your pelvis forward and keeping the correct curvature in the lower back.This opens the ribcage, allowing you to breathe more efficiently. It also prevents what we call a “forward head posture”. As shown in the diagram, by having your chin forward, this straightens the curve in your neck and puts more strain on your discs and nerves. Your feet need to be placed firmly flat on the floor directly under your knees to stop knee injuries and the muscles from becoming tight.

Top tips for the best office chair:

  • The base of the chair should tilt forward and down
  • Height adjustable
  • Swivel
  • Arm rests
  • The back of the chair should support your entire back
  • Good padding

Don’t wait until you or your work mates get a bad back! We can come to your office to do talks on posture and health at work. We can also provide chair, postural and work station assessment/advice.

Call Carl Irwin Chiropractic today and take the first step to better health.

Keep an eye out for our next blog on easy exercises (office-robics) you can do at your desk.

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