Does Sitting Cause Negative Health Effects?
You probably wouldn’t suspect your comfy office chair to be the culprit of serious health conditions. But did you know the simple act of sitting all day can increase your risk of developing lower back pain or other health problems, like cancer and diabetes?
According to a recent study, offsetting the negative effects of long-term sitting can not only improve your overall health but also add years to your life. And luckily, the solution may only come down to exercising one hour a day.
While dedicating one hour to fitness each day can be challenging — especially during a busy workday — there are many office exercises you can do to reverse the negative health effects of sitting and even reduce or prevent neck or back pain. Try these helpful exercises at work to help keep your spine healthy while on the clock:
- Proper chin tucks are effective neck stretches you can do at your desk. And the best part? Your co-workers won’t even know you’re doing them. First, double-check to make sure you’re sitting or standing in a perfect, upright position. While keeping your eyes and jaw level, move your head backward without tilting your chin downward — almost like you’re giving yourself a double chin. Hold for five seconds. Relax. Try it again, five more times. This will help decrease the tension in your upper back.
- Simple shoulder blade squeezes should do the trick when you need a desk stretching technique that helps combat improper posture caused by hunching at your computer. While standing up straight at your desk, gently push your shoulders backward as if you’re trying to grip an object between your shoulder blades. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times to reduce tension in your upper back and help prevent neck pain.
- Hugging your knee may sound silly, but this exercise at your desk is a great lower back stretch. While your back will thank you for it, this desk stretch will also do wonders for your hamstrings and glutes — and we all know how inactive gluteal muscles can lead to dormant butt syndrome. While seated, keep your back straight and lift your right knee. Clasp your hands just below your right knee and pull your bent leg gently toward your chest. Hold for five seconds and repeat on the other side.
Whether it’s a rigorous workout routine, desk yoga on your lunch break or an hour-long walk after your busy workday, one hour of physical activity may be the answer to maintaining optimal health and wellness. If exercising for one hour a day becomes too painful due to chronic neck or back pain, you may have an underlying spine condition that needs to be evaluated. Contact the Care Team at Laser Spine Institute to learn more about common spine conditions and treatment options.