Being sedentary all day, especially at a desk, can have a number of negative effects on your body, but most notably puts you at higher risk for low back pain. In large part, this is due to poor posture while sitting, and may be improved for some patients by back and core-strengthening exercises.
At Campbell Clinic, our physicians recommend maintaining good posture while sitting to prevent back injury. Specifically, while sitting at a desk and looking at a computer, keep your chin drawn down and shoulder blades comfortably retracted. Adjust the setup of your desk if need be, so that you may easily attain good posture. Be sure to take breaks and walk around frequently throughout the workday, to relieve any prolonged pressure on your spine.
- Lumbar Spine Stretch: Prone
Support yourself on your hands and knees. Gently round your back like a cat and hold for 20 seconds before returning to your starting position.
- Lumbar Spine Stretch: Knees to Side
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Slowly bend your legs and hips to the left. You may place your left hand on the top of your right knee to deepen the stretch. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Return to your starting position before repeating this exercise on the opposite side.
- Pelvic Tilts
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Gently pull your navel toward the floor as your pelvis slowly rotates up from the bottom. Hold the position for three to five seconds before returning to the starting position. For best results, repeat this exercise three to five times.
For more information and to view visual demonstrations of these exercises, please visit our Exercises You Can Do at Home page.