Is Standing or Sitting At Work Better For Your Back?

If you work at a desk - you are probably aware the dangers of long hours of sitting and inactivity. It’s actually been termed the ‘sitting disease’ and recent studies have shown that women who sat for more than 6 hours a day were 94% more likely to die at an earlier age than their more active counterparts. Men were at 48%.

With the serious implications of long hours of inactivity many people are opting for a standing desk. Companies and individuals are spending hundreds to thousands of dollars to design ergonomic workstations and bring in ergonomic ‘experts’ to help solve the problem.

So the obvious answer to the sitting disease is to stand, right? For those who have switched to a standing desk you may have run into a new problem - standing for long hours also hurts your low back!

That’s because it’s not necessarily a sitting problem - it’s an inactivity (lack of movement) problem

So the answer to resolving back pain cause by long hours at the office isn’t how many hours you spend sitting vs. standing - the answer lies in how frequently we move. Which means that before you invest in the $1000 work station or hire the ergonomic ‘expert’ - try adding a movement routine every hour. Take a walk, stretch it out, jump up and down. Doesn’t need to be a fancy - the goal is to MOVE.

Obviously when immersed in a project it’s hard to get up from the desk - here are a few ways to incorporate movement while sitting at your desk.

2. Banded Pull Aparts

  1. Brugger’s Postural Relief Exercise

4. Wall Angels (Wall Not Needed If At Desk)

3. Shoulder Depressions

Many of our clients active adults who also work long hours at a desk. We recently treated man who was experiencing neck/shoulder pain at work. He could barely sit for 30 mins before becoming distracted with the pain. After a month of chiropractic adjustments, manual therapy and custom exercises to strengthen important spinal stabilizer he can now sit for over 2 hours with no pain - improving both his sanity and his work performance.


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