If you spend every weekday sitting at a desk, chances are you leave the office with a tired back, shoulders and neck. That’s not even accounting for all the sitting you do behind the steering wheel or on a train. Sitting for long periods places a lot of strain on your muscles, and when that happens day in and day out, you could find yourself dealing with chronic pain or discomfort.
Your spine is surrounded by muscles and ligaments that prefer to be standing, walking or moving, even lying down, because that’s when they’re at a relatively “restful” state. Sitting demands the muscles and ligaments be more engaged to keep you upright. Think of it this way: If you go running without stopping for three hours…again, no stopping…you’ll have muscle fatigue because all that running is asking a lot of your body; well, so does sitting for hours and hours.
The reason why sitting puts so much strain on your back–and consequently shoulders and neck–is because the position demands the ligaments to flatten instead of maintaining a natural curve. The real problem is that the strain increases with each hour spent sitting, and Americans on average sit for more than eight hours a day. While you may not feel the pain or discomfort on Monday, by Friday, you’re feeling way more tired than you did in the beginning of the week.
Could your lack of energy stem from all the time you spend sitting? Yes!
Back in Charge
Don’t despair! There are actions you can take to help your back stay strong.
The better in shape you and your back muscles are, the more they’re up for the job of sitting down.
Sometimes, relief can be as simple as getting up off the chair and walking around. Take frequent breaks to stand, move, stretch. Bonus: The movement will help energize you.
- Use a lumbar pillow
A lumbar pillow should help prevent you from slouching, and therefore, creating even more strain. The key is finding the right size and shape to meet your needs.
• lumbar support cushion
This type of product resembles a chair back, and in fact, will cover most of a chair’s back. These also tend to be fairly firm and feature molded sides.
Featured productHoMedics OT-LUM Therapy Lumbar Cushion Support Pillow with Velour Cover
This thermo-sensitive pillow will not only give your back a break from the strain of sitting, but it’ll help you keep your cool. The Memory Foam forms to your body for extra comfort.
• roll pillow
A roll pillow looks like a log and comes in varying degrees of firmness/softness as well as sizes. Try out a few to see what size fits you best.
Featured productOPTP Original McKenzie Lumbar Roll – Firm
Adjust the elastic strap to make sure this pillow stays in place to provide you continuous support. An independent lab determined that the OPTP pillow’s design will outlast many competitors, thereby giving owners more for their money.