Sitting to Long, Why The Chair Your In Contributes to Lower Back Pain

Why Sitting to Long Hurts? How to identify & help your lower back pain, along with frequently asked questions about preventive measures and remedies.
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Why Sitting for too Long Hurts Your Lower Back?

You probably never realized how sensitive your tail-bone is until you unfortunately land on it the wrong way. Another less known situation where your tailbone can be fickle is after sitting for an extended period.

Tailbone pain is focused around the very bottom of your spine, just above your buttocks, where this multi-segmented bone sits.

  • This area of your backside is small but packs a painful punch; because of its many tendons, muscles, and ligaments that run through the area.

One of its important functions the tailbone provides is helping stabilize yourself whenever sitting. Keeping this sensitive area protected can be a world of difference in quality of life. 

Does sitting at 90° degrees actually improve posture opposed to sitting in a neutral back position?

Ninety Degree Sitting Posture Is for Robots! As someone who believes in this myth and suffered the consequences by sitting in such rigid ways.

  • From personal experience; I can confirm from that sitting at 90° degree angle will lead to butt pain and put an unnecessary strain on your back.

A healthier sitting position instead of a 90° posture is to lean back between 95° 115° degrees. This helps ease pressure on your tailbone.

Your spine should naturally curve towards your center of gravity, we easily feel this around our lower backs.

  • Do NOT slouch forward and lean up on your desk. This is the number one cause of muscle strain among office chair users.

What Will Happen After Sitting All Day, Every day?

Ten Short-term & Long-term Effects That Happen When You Sit Too Long.

Chances are you will eventually despise your work station. Today’s modern society works on average 8 hours shifts.  On average 6.29 hours spent sedentary sitting.

In 2017, a study looked into the sitting behaviors of office workers. They found that sitting had adverse effects on office workers’ health and job performance.

This research was conducted by Journal of Lifestyle Medicine; The pool of participants was 477 Iranian office workers who answered a two-part questionnaire to collect this data.

  • In fact, 73.6% of people felt exhausted during the workday.
  • 6.3% of those people suffered from hypertension & 11.2% reported hyperlipidemia.
  • An incredible 53.6% & 53.2% of participants reported symptoms of neck, shoulder, and lower back pain.

Tight Hips along with a Bad Back

We spend most working hours sitting and this is only increasing as more occupations shift to working on computers.

  • The lack of movement from sedentary jobs causes stiffness in the muscles and can even make some of us tired.

Also, poor sitting posture may cause compression issues with the discs in your spine that can lead to premature degeneration, this is where how chronic pain starts.

Weakens Glutes, Legs, & Thights

Remember Grandpa Joe from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory? Nobody wants to be a Grandpa Joe.

  • Sitting all day and not depending on your lower body to hold you up leads to muscle atrophy. The weaker your legs, the higher the chance of injury from everyday activities.

You’ll Get Skinny Fat

Pretty straightforward, Sitting around all day will make you fat.

  • Most of that lard goes straight to your gut, which is why skinny fat has become an American epidemic among adult males.

You May Get Very Fat, Like Unhealthy Fat

Big may be beautiful, but it ain’t healthy. The obese demographic has significantly increased in the past 20 years.

  • In some developed countries, 50% to 65% of the entire population are overweight or obese, which in effect only 1/3 of the people have normal body weight!

People with a high percentage of body fat sit for 2.25 hours per day more than normal-sized people with equivalent quality chairs. Three factors that helped obesity speed up this epidemic are:

  1. Access to larger portion sizes of meals
  2. Bad quality food because of mass productions.
  3. Inadequate exercise because of increased media use.

Increase Risk for Diabetes

Sitting all day is not very good for us. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle in combination with improper diet increases risk of diabetes.

  • Spending over 2 hours per day sitting either watching tv, on the computer, or any other sedentary things has been correlated to a significantly higher risk of correctional cancer.

Increase Risk of Cancers

Sitting for over 2 hours a day increases the chances of contracting colorectal cancer. No matter if it’s watching tv or going on your work commute, none of us are safe from colorectal cancer.

Spending over 40 hours per week sitting makes you 112 percent more likely at risk of diabetes. In one study that examined the effects on five days of continuous bed rest; Researchers found an increased insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.

Varicose Veins

Sitting for too long may cause too much blood to collect within the legs. Leading to varicose veins or spider veins, which is a miniature form.

  • Though largely not harmful, these swollen and unsightly veins may in rare cases lead to more serious conditions, like blood clots.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

This is a type of blood clot most common in the legs.

When a little of this clot breaks off, it can cut off the flow of blood to vital organs such as your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

  • This is a medical emergency that can lead to major complications or even death. Sitting for longer than expected on a long trip, can even cause DVT.

Depression and Anxiety

Your body releases endorphins when you exercise, by sitting around all day your body misses out on these natural highs.

  • Risk of depression and anxiety is higher in the sedentary lifestyle.

Michelle Kilpatrick of the University of Tasmania, collected data from 3,367 state government employees who took a 4-week long credited psychological assessment.

  • Kirkpatrick and colleagues found that those who sat for too long of stretches during work experienced increased rates of psychological distress.
ANSWER: TRUE

(Unless you have something severe like sciatica), most people with back pain will not get better by not moving at all, but motion is lotion and moderate exercise will help reduce pain.

These are some side effects of adopting a sedentary lifestyle.

Best Remedies For Back Pain

 

Physical Therapy

  • Massage Therapy, Orthopedic Therapy, Geriatric Therapy 

Physical Exercise

Physical Modalities

  • Hot Packs, Cold Packs, TENS Unit

Ergonomic Work Space

  • Standing Desk, That ‘Perfect Sized’ Chair, Posture Correcting Gear

Topical Medications

  • Iontophoresis, CBD Cream, Methanol Gel (Pain Relieving)

What can I do to prevent low back pain?

  1. Avoid Prolonged Sitting!
  2. Occasionally Stand up while you’re working on the computer, watching TV, talking on the phone, or playing video games.
  3. Change your work station with lumbar support pads, footrest, and if needed, get a standing desk.
  4. When you sit, REMEMBER to focus on improving posture.
  5. Take stretching breaks from work station every 30-60 minutes.
The lumbar support feature of an office chair refers to the curvature it has to the sitters lower back via the back padding.

Lumbar support is usually built into the ergonomics of the office chair and corrects the posture of your lower back.

 

If they do not equip your chair with lumbar support features, you could purchase a separate cushion as an alternative.

 

These lumbar support cushion work the same way, that is by pushing firmly against your lower back while sitting to keep the spine in a more natural.

Most Common Causes of Back Pain?

Five Causes of Lower Back Pain That May Affect Your Sitting.

Arthritis

Arthritis can be located many places along the body, including the joints of the spine. Most commonly it occurs between the vertebrae at the site of disc degeneration.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain

This type of pain is inflammation in either or both joints in the pelvis.

Bulging Disc

A bulging disc may cause acute pain in the lower back, but it most often radiates pain down the legs.

  • The bulging disk can get severe enough that it affects the spinal cord around requiring medical attention.

Whiplash

Often, an acute onset causes lower back pain and most commonly occurs after bending and lifting heavy objects.

Myofascial Pain/Ligament Strain

Often an acute onset cause of lower back pain and most commonly occurs after bending and lifting heavy objects.

Sitting To Long Hurts Your Lower Back
Travel across the attentive population, 1834 : CC0 Public Domain Designation

Related Questions

Helpful Info Around Back Pain & Some F.A.Q. Answered
We round our backs all day either standing, traveling, or sitting.

Many chairs have round (concave) back pads. It's common to sit in these round chairs and allow your back to round along with.

 

  • Your body weight enviably presses down on your low back discs, causing discomfort.

 If you're looking for common sitting habits that is bad for our posture. We found the five biggest mistakes people make while seated.

  • Tilt Lock & 2-to-1 Synchro Tilt
  • Support Head & Arm Rest
  • Back Height Adjustment
  • Lumbar Support
  • Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment

We also wrote a more in-depth list describing the sought after features in office chairs that help ease back pain.

The ideal recline for working is between 95° to 110°.

 If you're looking for common sitting habits that is bad for our posture. We found the five biggest mistakes people make while seated.

SOURCES

Evans, Doc Mike. “Low Back Pain.” YouTube, YouTube, 24 Jan. 2014, www.youtube.com/ watch?time_continue=2&v=BOjTegn9RuY.

Bookspan, Dr. Jolie. “ Preventing Back Pain from Long Sitting.” Back Pain Prevention for Travelers, worldstogethertravel.com/healthy-travel/long-sitting.htm.

Clinic, Mayo. “Deskercise – Lower Back and Torso Stretches.” YouTube, YouTube, 25 Jan. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M-b1c2spPE.

“Back Pain (FAQ).” Edited by California Plain Medicine Center, California Pain Medicine Center, 0AD, www.californiapainmedicinecenter.com /back-pain-frequently-asked-questions/.

Matthews, et al. “Amount of Time Spent in Sedentary Behaviors in the United States, 2003–2004.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 25 Feb. 2008, academic.oup.com/aje/article/167/7/875/84501.

Kilpatrick, M., Sanderson, K., Blizzard, L., Teale, B., Venn, A. (2013), Cross-sectional associations between sitting at work and psychological distress: Reducing sitting time may benefit mental health. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 6(2), 103–109. doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2013.06.004

Harley, Mike. “5 Common Office Chair Adjustments – Each Lever Explained.” Office Chairs Unlimited Furniture Blog, 25 Oct. 2018, blog.officechairsunlimited.com/5-common-office-chair-features-explained/.

Rosiek, Anna, et al. “Effect of Television on Obesity and Excess of Weight and Consequences of Health.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 12 Aug. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555288.

Daneshmandi, Hadi, et al. “Adverse Effects of Prolonged Sitting Behavior on the General Health of Office Workers.” Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, July 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618737/.

Ma, Peng, et al. “Daily Sedentary Time and Its Association with Risk for Colorectal Cancer in Adults: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.” Medicine, Wolters Kluwer Health, June 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5459729/.

Laskowski M.D., Edward R. “Sitting Risks: How Harmful Is Too Much Sitting?” Mayo Clinic, 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005.
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Claude

ChairPickr | "Writer"

Hello, My name is Claude and I enjoy sitting comfortable. Research into what separates the good from the bad in the matter of chairs started when I made a new year’s resolution to have better posture.

You clicked here to find that first-rate chair. Why not stay and learn some self care?

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