I recently read an article entitled ‘sitting is the new smoking‘. Yikes! At first, glance that sounded pretty extreme, but is it really? It’s actually not an exaggeration.
Sadly chairs are indeed wrecking our backs (not to mention increasing evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes).
Since I am a teacher who specializes in Back Pain Yoga, I’m going to focus on that aspect in this post. We are hunter-gatherer creatures meant to walk and roam, run, squat and sit on the earth. This is how we are designed to function. Sitting in chairs goes against our fundamental design. Here are some surprising Back Pain Statistics:
80-85% of people will experience Back Pain in their lives and for many it is chronic
56 billion dollars is spent annually on Back Pain treatment
The percentage of back pain suffers is the highest in developed nations where people are likely to spend time sitting in chairs
So if you sit at a desk all day odds are at some point you will have pain in your back, hips or neck. If not debilitating pain, you will at the very least have chronic tension or discomfort.
Right now you may be thinking, I know, I know, but what can I do about it? I can’t quit my job. In the video below I go into more detail about the damage chairs do to our backs and some ideas on how to lessen the damage.
5 Things You Can Do To Get Out Of Pain:
Consider investing in a standing desk or at least a better chair.
Take breaks. Set a timer to go off every hour. Then get up, move around, stretch your legs, get a glass of water then come back to work.
When you aren’t working, stand up.
Move more. It doesn’t take long to eat lunch so you can spend half your lunch hour moving instead of sitting.
YOGA! You may already be practicing some Yoga but stepping it up to 5-7 days a week whether in a studio or home practice will really help.
I hope this post inspires you to not take your back for granted and make changes before you are in serious pain.