Our bodies are not designed for a corporate lifestyle, and yet we often feel there is no choice but to spend major portions of our day sitting in a chair. The back of an average healthy person takes a beating from the low energy corporate lifestyle, leading to increased stiffness, pain, mal-alignment of the spine, alteration in the posture and not to forget, excessive weight gain. Despite many companies taking immense measures to keep the ergonomics of the office correct, many of us additionally sit through the heavy traffic, while eating lunch which only adds more stress to the back.
Your lower back is a part of ‘the core’ which can be referred to as a ‘POWERHOUSE’ or ‘THE ENGINE’ of all the movements that you perform in your daily activities. All and any activities we do are generated from the core and then translated to our extremities. They are responsible for holding the upper body in the proper posture for whatever it is you’re doing.
The spine is designed in such a way that it extends and contracts for various positions we assume in our day-to- day lives. When we sit straight, the discs in our back tend to crunch. This does not cause any harm if it’s for a short duration, but if we continue sitting for longer duration, the discs are compressed leading to erosion of flexibility and herniated discs. This puts immense pressure on the lower back and tenses the surrounding muscles and joints. Sitting for prolonged hours also tilts the pelvis backwards aggravating the strain on the lumbar discs. At this stage, the posture starts to alter by pushing the head forwards and curving the shoulders ahead in order to compensate the weight of the head. Long hours of maintaining an improper posture advances to permanent imbalances, lower back pain, neck pain, sore neck and shoulders.
The way you sit in the chair makes a lot of changes in the spine which leads to muscular imbalance in the muscular system of the body causing pain. Pain is not a symptom. It is an effort that the body takes to indicate you and tell you ‘something is wrong!’ Eventually, the altered posture stays and the pain vanishes as your body gets used to the new altered posture. The core strength diminishes to eventually let your back give away completely, murdering your backs in one big stab.
Here are some easy tips to keep your back pain at bay:
- Take the stairs and give yourself some cardio!
- The Twinkle Toe: While at your desk, speedily tap your toes. This helps reduce swelling.
- The Cubicle Wanderer: Walking during work is totally underrated. Instead of dialling extensions and writing lazy emails, put in some face time.
- The Patient Printer: While patiently waiting for the printer to finish the prints for you, do the calf raises!
5. The Silent Butt Squeeze: Desk exercises can be kept under wraps and still be the best ones. Keep squeezing your buttocks to help your back and also for a great bum.