According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 31 million Americans can be experiencing back pain at any one time. Furthermore, back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work, and 50 per cent of working Americans have reported experiencing back pain at some point throughout the year. Isn’t that crazy?
Back pain is no joke, and it can clearly be debilitating for a lot of people. So why don’t we do more to prevent it? Office workers sit anywhere between nine and 12 hours daily depending on the nature of their job, what they do on their downtime and the length of their commute. Let’s take a deeper look at the problem with sitting and how you can reduce back pain moving forward.
The Problem with Sitting
If you’ve ever spent the majority of your day sitting, you probably already know that back pain can be a very real side effect. Because all of your weight gets put on your backside and lower spine, up to 90% more pressure can be put on your back while you’re sitting as opposed to while you’re standing. Furthermore, sitting doesn’t allow for as much range of motion, which typically means that you end up being relatively still for long hours of the time. This lowers blood circulation, causes stiffness in bones and joints, and causes the surrounding core muscles that support the spine to be apathetic.
Another big issue with sitting is posture. When you’re sitting down all day (in perhaps a not-so-ergonomic chair), it’s easy to slump down and hunch over while working at your desk. This poor posture causes even greater tension on different areas of the spine, neck and shoulders, which over time can cause serious back pain.
Sadly, we often don’t do anything about these issues until it’s too late and we’re already experiencing pain. But now that we know there’s an issue, what can we do to prevent it?
Walking Can Reduce Back Pain
Start walking! Walking is an easy way to reduce some of that built-up tension in your spine, and all it requires is putting one foot in front of the other. According to a study in the Spinal Journal, exercise like a specific walking program can reduce back pain anywhere from 10 to 50 per cent. Some of the ways a walking regimen could help with back pain include the following:
- Strengthens core muscles – If your muscles are moving and contracting, they’re growing in strength to better support your spine.
- Improves circulation – Regular movement gets your blood flowing, thus bringing vital nutrients to your spine and neck.
- Less pressure on the lower back – Because walking involves an upright and natural position of the spine, there is less overall pressure than there is when sitting.
- Improved posture – If you’re up and moving, you’ll be more alert and less likely to slump over as time goes by.
- Less stiffness – Your back can stiffen up after a long bought of sitting, but walking loosens the joints and helps you feel more flexible.
How to Walk More and Sit Less
Okay, so we’ve established that walking is better than sitting when it comes to back pain. But how do we actually reduce sitting time and increase our walking habits with such a busy lifestyle? The WalkTop Treadmill Desk of course! The WalkTop allows you to directly replace some of your sitting time for walking, while still getting important work done on your computer. You can reap the benefits of less back pain without having to worry about falling behind on your tasks in life.
Of course, as always, remember to do everything in moderation. We’re certainly not suggesting that you should never sit again at work, nor or we suggesting that walking non-stop is the answer to all of your back pain problems. But we are saying that taking specific steps to reduce your sedentary behaviors and incorporate more movement where you can will bring you long-term health benefits. The WalkTop is the perfect solution to these sedentary issues: walk when you’re feeling that back pain creep up, and return to sitting when you need a break. Try it out today!