Practicing active sitting can help you in back pain relief.

Active Sitting Can Help Relieve Back Pain

Sitting for a long period without breaks for exercise can cause severe back pain. However, it can be more challenging for office employees or students who sit at a desk for extended periods. Particularly to find the means to stay active while working or studying. This is when active sitting might come in handy.

The human spine is made to move around

For millions of years, humans have survived by gathering, rushing after prey, fleeing predators, and staying active throughout the day. So, it was a huge shift when farming got automated, and people started sitting down at desks. This series of accidental events were on a vast scale, and they did not go well for our backs.

Nowadays, we spend a lot of time sitting. We sit during mealtime, in the vehicle, at meetings, at the computer. We also sit and watch tv. Amounting to an average of 11 hours per day.

Sitting on a chair is not a natural position for the human body

Many chairs are not built to help us sit comfortably. This makes users sit with bad posture, the rounded spine, the absence of lumbar lordosis, and the stretched neck. This is also called “the computer slump.” 

Even though the human spine has a diverse construct, it eventually runs out of corrective reactions after years of computer slump. In this case, the core musculature has atrophied, the discs and facet joints have deteriorated. The spine’s delicate equilibrium has also been lost.

The typical human head weighs roughly the same as a bowling ball.  When you bend your neck at an angle of 45 degrees, it exerts a considerable strain on the neck. This weight may affect your respiration, strain the neck and shoulder joints and muscles.

There are three natural curves in the back. The shoulders, vertebrae, hips, ankles, and knees are balanced when well-positioned, and the load is shared equally. Less tension and strain on muscles, joints, and ligaments are the benefits. Extra benefits include a lower chance of back, neck, and shoulder pain. 

A protruding belly, rounded shoulders, and a protruded neck and chin are all typical indications of the bad posture known as a forward head position. With prolonged use of conventional chairs, the signs of bad posture may start to appear.

Moving around is better than standing desks

Studies show that regular movement is better than standing at a desk. Spending some time in your day to exercise may counteract the amount of sitting you do during the day. Believe us when we say that your physical and emotional health will appreciate it. You may even look for an excuse to walk like:

  • Participating in walking meetups
  • Walking to a coworker’s rather than sending an email
  • Riding a bike to work
  • Ditching the elevator to climb a flight of stairs

Changing the way we sit with active sitting

Even though you may not be able to avoid sitting at your desk, there are certain things you can do to improve the way you sit. They are called active sitting.

Active or dynamic sitting involves using some of your back, abdomen, or leg muscles when sitting in a chair. Treadmills, bouncing balls, and standing workstations promote excellent mobility methods. Active sitting allows individuals to make slight alterations to their sitting habits to keep certain muscle groups active.

Active sitting integrates short bursts of movement into your routine. These mini-workouts don’t necessarily increase fitness. Instead, they focus on boosting circulation to muscle groups and surrounding tissues. Active sitting may prevent tissue degradation over time.

Here are some tips for incorporating active sitting into your everyday routine:

  • With your bare feet, roll a can or baseball over the floor. The back-and-forth action keeps circulation flowing through your legs, ensuring that muscles receive the oxygen they require. 
  • Sit on the edge of your chair a couple of times a day to stretch your spine. This could stretch your muscles and relieve strain.
  • You may consider wall-squatting to stretch muscles and increase circulation. This involves standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back to the wall. Then gently lower yourself to a sitting posture with your knees at a right angle. Keep the stance for a while, and then repeat.

How does Being Active Reduce Back Pain?

The first thing we recommend if you have back pain is to see your chiropractor for an assessment to rule out any major disorder. In the absence of any severe disorder, a chiropractor is most likely to implore the patient to maintain as much physical activity as possible in their everyday lives and to work out constantly. Apart from active sitting, patients usually benefit from exercises to improve the core muscles and specific yoga movements. 

Over 100 research studies have been conducted on different fitness activities. As a result, this is by far one of the most thoroughly researched therapeutic options for back pain. Physical activities like sports and exercise are among the few therapies that have been shown to alleviate back pain. This is why most medical associations worldwide advise those suffering from back discomfort to work out regularly.

Active sitting and exercising may not eliminate back pain, but they usually reduce it and improve patient mobility. According to research, regular exercise mixed with an active sitting habit can drastically reduce the frequency of repeated back pain episodes.


Practicing active sitting at work won’t affect your usual routine. But these simple changes to your workplace sitting arrangement can dramatically improve your health.

For back pain, a chiropractor can assist you in finding an appropriate type of physical activity specific to your condition. Patients usually find it beneficial to have a fitness coach with the necessary skills. 

Finally, first, exercise takes time and patience, and the activity could take many weeks to impact. Your body may also need some time to adjust to the additional exertion.

About The Author
Dr. Oscar Noriega DC
Dr. Oscar Noriega, DC, is a trusted chiropractor who has been practicing for over ten years at Revolution Chiropractic Murfreesboro. He holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University. Dr. Noriega is also a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and the Tennessee Chiropractic Association. He resides in Murfreesboro with his wife and two children.