If your job involves sitting at a desk for a good chunk of the day, then it’s quite likely that you may also experience some back pain or discomfort every now and again.
Research has shown that sitting at a desk for 6 hours a day or more is associated with a greater risk of developing back pain.
However, bad posture is typically not the cause of back pain from sitting for too long. In fact, there is no evidence showing a direct correlation between bad posture and back pain.
It is far more likely that the root cause of your back pain is the amount of time you spend sitting. The best thing you can do for yourself if you have a job where you sit a lot is, therefore, to move throughout the day as much as possible.
In terms of posture, shift or change positions frequently or whenever you become uncomfortable. For example, if you are sitting upright, change to be a little slouched. If you spend most of your day in an office chair (no matter how ergonomically correct it may be), try sitting on an exercise ball or on a sofa for a portion of the day.
It’s also beneficial to stay active and do some movement throughout the day to ward off back pain. Thankfully, there are some simple exercises you can do discreetly during your lunch break to help with this.
Some examples include: wall extensions, prone press-ups, neck retractions, and seated spinal rotations.
If you have more space, you could also perform some wall squats, lunges, and planks. For a fun team building exercise in your office, you could create a “plank challenge” of sorts where everyone has to plank at the office daily!
Perform these as “micro exercises” and complete 10-15 repetitions of each. Whichever exercises you settle on, aim to prioritise strengthening or mobility exercises (where your joints go through a range of motion) instead of static stretching (bringing your muscles into a stretch and holding it).