Is your work-life​​ killing your back?

Here are some simple solutions to relieve your lower back pain

Have you ever noticed that golfers stick their leg backwards while retrieving a ball from the hole? While it helps them with their stance, it is also an excellent lower back exercise as it reduces the stress associated with bending each time hit the golf ball. 

Similarly, when working on the desk in a 9 to 5 job or hustling all day as a freelancer, incorporating simple changes in daily routine can help in preventing as well as alleviating lower back pain.

Sharing five tips and tricks to ease back pain due to sitting for a prolonged duration:

Motion is the new medicine: Walking as an exercise


Walking is a low-risk, high-reward exercise for pain in the lower back. Remember to start small, in terms of distance and time. Try making it a habit to walk every night and build up from there.

Take a break

The next step is to start moving at work. Wondering how and when? It is easy to get lost in work, thus, setting a timer on your phone to get up at least once an hour to just stand straight up and reach for the ceiling could be an excellent exercise to reduce pressure on spinal discs and boost circulation. Also, it can improve concentration at work which can be an added advantage. 

Stretch it out


Moving and taking breaks will help, but stretching is a more direct approach to address the symptoms. Here are two you can try today while seated in your chair:

Seated hamstring stretch:

Rest your heel on the floor and keep your knees straight. Gently lean forward till you feel a stretch behind the knee/thigh. Always keep your lower back straight to focus the stretch on the hamstring muscles. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3-4 times on each leg.

Seated stretch:

Cross one leg on top of the other such that the ankle is placed over the opposite knee. Keep one hand on the knee of the crossed leg. Gently lean your trunk forward while pressing on the crossed knee till a stretch is felt in the hip region. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times on each side.

At-home stretches

Stretching on the floor at home can be even more effective. You can start with 3-5 sets of the following two simple moves:

Single knee to chest stretch:

Lie on your back and bring one knee up towards your chest. Grasp it with both hands and gently pull it up towards your chest till a stretch is felt in the lower back, hip, and buttock regions. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

Prayer Stretch

Prayer stretch:

Sit back so that your buttocks rest on the heels. Reach your hands forward to lengthen the spine and feel a stretch in your middle and lower back. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

Watch your posture while sitting

Although stretching can do wonders, perfecting your pose while working is also of paramount importance. Here is a handy checklist:

  • Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are entirely on the floor. 

  • Place the top of your computer screen in level with your eyes, and about an arms-length away from you.
  • Sit right back so that your whole back is supported in the seat and the natural curve of your lower back fits against the form of the backrest.

Since sitting for extended periods seems to be the new smoking, and you cannot give it up, start making these small changes and it will definitely help you subdue back pain. 

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