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Sitting too much? You’re not the only one.

Did you know the average American sits for 13 hours every day?


By Kelci Fraser, PTA, B.S.Kin.
September 14, 2018

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It’s no secret that lack of activity can lead to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer – and even neck and lower back pain from too much sitting at your desk. The good news? There are ways to combat potential back pain from sitting too much.

There are great exercises you can do at home, at your desk or on the go. The best part? They only take about 15 to 30 seconds at a time to complete. Let’s take a look.

Stand, breathe, stretch – ways to alleviate back pain from sitting

If your job requires you to sit for a long periods of time, there is an easy three-step exercise to get you feeling great. Here goes:

  • Step 1: Stand up, put your shoulders back and turn your hands so that your palms face forward.
  • Step 2: Take a deep breath, pulling your shoulder blades towards one another, while pushing your hips forward.
  • Step 3: Repeat this process two to three times.
Woman standing at her desk

Get some more movement going while you’re at your desk

Yes, you can move around while at your desk! Try getting down on one knee and continuing to work in this position. This will improve your posture and cause you to straighten your neck, back and shoulders.

Ideally, you can perform these exercises every 30 to 40 minutes throughout the day.

Woman kneeling at her desk

Prevent back pain while moving at home

Whether you’re watching your favorite show on television or binge-watching the latest Netflix show, it’s easy to plant yourself on the couch and not get up for hours. Here are a few fun tips to remain healthy while binge-watching.

During commercial breaks (or every 15 minutes if you’re watching a show without commercials), pick a couple of the following exercises:

  • Dance to your favorite music for 30 seconds
  • Do pushups and jumping jacks for at least 30 seconds
  • Plank for 30 seconds
  • Do calf raises and crunches for 30 seconds
  • Do a quick vacuum of room and on the next break do some quick dusting

If a lack of physical activity is impacting your overall health, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Find a doctor near you by visiting:

About Kelci Fraser, PTA, B.S.Kin.

Kelci Fraser is a physical therapy assistant at Physicians Neck & Back Center, where she specializes in caring for patients with chronic to acute neck and back pain. Kelci has her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota and studied Physical Therapy at St. Catherine’s University. She enjoys staying active by playing volleyball a few nights a week and doing MRT workouts at the gym.

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