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What Effect Does Sitting Have On My Back?

Posted on: June 11, 2015

Here’s a question that I’m often asked: “I sit for long periods of time. I know I should exercise to strengthen my lower back, but I don’t have time in my day for a special exercise program. What should I do?”

The documented rise in back pain incidence has been linked to the sedentary lifestyle that many of us lead and as a chiropractor I always try to motivate my patients to exercise.

Our bodies strengthen with activity. It is easy to see that if the muscles of the back become stronger there is less opportunity for injury. If you have been sitting for long periods of time on a regular basis, your muscles have already lost a significant amount of strength.


The good news is that strengthening the small muscles which are responsible for back stability can make a big difference in reducing the likelihood of injury. So if you can’t get around to strengthening those big muscles with regular exercise, at least keep the small muscles of the back moving. Increasing movement throughout the day can improve lower back stability and reduce the likelihood of injury.

Here are some ideas to start.

  • Get yourself in the habit of moving more. Use small movements that challenge your balance and remember this phrase, “More Movement, More Often.”
  • Movements such as twisting while you sit or short rocking movements from front to back and left to right will work.
  • Consider standing up and stretching while gently twisting right and left.  This is a category of exercise that includes stretching, breathing and paying attention to areas of restrictions and pain in your body.
  • Change your position, adjust your chair, get a cushion or change to a different type of chair.  Small adjustments in sitting posture require the small muscles of the back to balance you and hold you upright in new ways, lowering your vulnerability to injury.
  • Lean less forward when working at the computer.  Leaning forward to see the computer monitor causes your lower back muscles to be constantly contracted, fatiguing and weakening them. Select a more ergonomic home base position at the computer, one that requires less energy to hold you up.

Don’t push through any pain without getting some professional advice or you could make a minor problem much worse.

I encourage you to improvise. If you have any questions ask me on your next office visit.

Remember: “More Movement, More Often.” 


At Westlake Village Chiropractic Arts, we are committed to supporting you in your journey of greater health & well-being. Contact us for your next visit.

Posted in: Back pain, Health & Well Being

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Disclaimer: Dr. Stephen B. Chopyak, D.C is a chiropractor and does not offer medical or chiropractic advice from this website. This information is offered for educational purposes only. Do not act or rely upon our information without seeking an independent health care professional's advice. The information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship between you and Dr. Chopyak. As with any medical procedure, results will vary among individuals, and there could be risk involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, condition or issue, promptly contact your health care provider. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The photos used may be models and not patients.