If you’re like the millions of Americans across the county, you may find yourself working at a job that requires an extensive amount of sitting, computer work, or meetings that don’t allow you to move and change positions as often as you need. According to the American Heart Association, over 80% of jobs are sedentary, requiring excessive sitting and not enough physical activity.1 Because of the pandemic, many of us are now working from home, which only increases the amount of time we spend sitting. Data shows that between 15 and 34% of desk workers will experience neck pain related to their job. Work-related neck pain is the leading cause of disability and absence from work.2
Low back pain is one of the most common ailments treated in outpatient physical therapy clinics today. Back pain can be debilitating and negatively affect quality of life to a large degree, and as a younger individual, it is something that is not often thought of as a potential injury. Yet, low back pain is fairly common in the younger population; up to 10-25% of the population in their late teens to early 40s report back pain. In this age group, low back is commonly described in the research as “non-specific back pain,” meaning back pain does not have a known cause or correlation to MRI or X-Ray imaging. Most acute, non-specific back pain usually resolves on its own within 6 weeks and with appropriate rest, good nutrition, light activity and a positive outlook, you can help manage the severity of your pain.
There has been a lot of media attention the past few years equating sitting to being as bad for your health as smoking. The public concern has resulted in what you might expect: office workers switching to stand-up desks, sales of exercise balls, fitness tracker purchases, and even people utilizing treadmills while they’re working on a computer. But is all this worry over sitting warranted? Let’s take a look.