Sitting at your desk all day strains your back. Walk to work to strengthen core muscles.
– Caroline, Wickford
Your back supports the full weight of your upper body, and this makes it particularly vulnerable to injury. You might think you’re only at risk when you’re lifting heavy boxes, but staying still for long periods of time can be just as damaging. Sitting at your desk all day strains your back; it forces the weight of your upper body to settle in the lumbar region of the spine, causing lower-back pain. This may explain why acute or chronic back pain affects 8 out of 10 people.
It’s important that you are as comfortable as possible at work, so consider talking to your boss about how your desk, chair and other office equipment can be adjusted to make sure you aren’t straining your back unnecessarily. However, it’s just as important that you get the exercise you can to build up core muscle strength, which will prop up your vertebrae and help to take the stress off your spine.
This doesn’t have to mean getting gym membership, attending a yoga class or doing the dreaded plank (though you can do all of these things if you want to). NHS Choices says the best way to prevent and deal with back pain is simply to stay active. Something as straightforward as walking at least some of the way to and from work, or taking the stairs rather than the lift, can be a great way to start. Buy a cheap pedometer or download an app like Runtastic Pedometer or Pedometer++ to track your progress.
So instead of sitting at your desk all day, climbing in the car for the journey home and then dozing on the sofa for the rest of the evening, try not putting your back into it for once and commute by foot.