Sitting at a desk for many hours a day can promote the onset of pain and contractures in the lumbar area. Here are the useful solutions
We spend an average of 8 hours a day sitting at the desk with negative health consequences. Confirmation comes from several studies. It promotes obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, two factors that predispose to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other ailments. But the negative effects are also others. Sitting at a desk for a long time increases the risk of experiencing muscle and joint problems that can affect the lumbar area and the spine and give rise to back pain, from which 4 out of 10 Italians suffer weekly (data from the international report Global Pain Index). "One of the most common causes of this disorder are above all incorrect postures that are assumed habitually and for a long time", explains Marco Paciotta, physiotherapist of the Monti Salute Più Group. So here's what to do to avoid them and 5 ad hoc exercises to combat desk back pain.
"Desk back pain is a disorder that usually occurs with pain in the lower back, which can also radiate along one or both legs," he says. Francesco Fasciani, physiotherapist of the Monti Salute Più Group. “The factors that most predispose to this disorder are of a constitutional nature. The combination of these factors with overweight, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, but also emotional tensions and stress increases the risk of encountering the problem . Another factor that promotes desk back pain is fatigue. "Sitting incorrectly for many hours pushes the body to compensate for the posture by assuming wrong positions that overload the muscles and joints and over time give rise to pain and contractures, which in some cases limit movement".
Mistakes to avoid
To stay away from desk back pain, the first strategy to adopt is not to assume incorrect positions when sitting. "Curling your legs on the chair, crossing them over each other, shifting the weight of the body to one side or bending forward are all mistakes that favor the problem," says physiotherapist Marco Paciotta. Then pay attention to the position of the computer monitor. «The screen must never be positioned too far away or to one side. And finally, we must avoid sitting for too long . Movement loosens rigidities. For example, strengthening the lumbar muscles, which have the task of stabilizing the spine, helps prevent pain.
«To avoid problems when sitting, you need to bring your torso to the desk and rest your elbows on the surface. Then you have to keep your shoulders down, away from your ears, and your feet flat on the ground, ”says physiotherapist Francesco Fasciani. To maintain the correct position, it may be helpful to place a cushion or a rolled towel between the lumbar area and the backrest. «It favors the distribution of the load along the physiological curves of the vertebral column.
Here are 5 useful exercises to combat desk back pain suggested by experts
Set the smartphone alarm and try to correct your posture at regular intervals by stretching the column as if you were touching the ceiling with the top of your head. Remain in this position. Do the exercise at the beginning for at least 10 times and gradually increase the repetitions.
When at your desk try to get up from time to time to stretch your legs and back. The movement acts on the neuro-muscular system, restoring the functionality and elasticity of the muscles and joints.
Lie on the ground on your stomach. Raise yourself up on your arms and toes, keeping your head, back and buttocks aligned. The arms are perpendicular to the floor. Maintain this position for 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise 3 times.
Get yourself a stick (or a broomstick). In an upright position with your legs as wide as your shoulders, grab it and place it behind your back, between your neck and shoulders. Bend your torso forward and bring your pelvis back slightly, without flexing your knees or arching your back. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.
While seated, raise both arms up and alternating sides stretch them towards the ceiling. Repeat the exercise 5 times.