Do you sit a lot at work? Do you drive a lot? Do you find yourself experiencing back pain or discomfort when you sit? Most chairs at work, home, school, restaurants, etc., are not made to adequately support your spine in sitting. If you do sit for extended periods of time, your spine could use a rest. So, how do you do this? Try some of the following tips.
1) Always have your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Resting on your toes with your heels off of the floor or putting your feet behind your knees puts unnecessary stress and strain on your spine.
2) Make sure that your knees are at a 90 degree angle to your hips. If your knees are above the level of your hips, it places your back in a flexed or rounded position. If your knees are below the angle of your hips, it places your back in a hyperextended or arched position. Both put strain on your spine and the muscles of your back.
3) Support the curve of your low back (lumbar spine) by using a towel roll. I love using towels rather than purchasing “lumbar rolls” for several reasons. First of all, towels are cheaper and you already have some in your home. Second, you can adjust the shape and size of the towel roll depending on your chair. Play with the size of the roll and start by placing it at the level of your waistline. Adjust it as necessary….you will immediately know when you have found the right spot.
4) Take as many breaks as you can to stand, stretch and move around. While sitting pump your ankles, wiggle your fingers, stretch your arms and shoulders, turn your head side to side, stretch your torso.
Remember to keep moving….it’s important for your health!
Cheryl Ilov PT, GCFP