The incidence of back pain has increased steadily in the last 50 years. Why is it happening. There are numerous reasons why this could be happening. Lets focus on sitting. In the last 50 years we have the evolution of the television and along with that we are spending more and more time sitting in front of it. Studies done in the 1950s show that if you sit for more than 20 min at a time, your muscles start to fatigue. ( and so does the brain ) By getting military personnel to take a 30 sec break every 20 min, they were able to work effectively for their usual 8 hour shift. They have found that by sitting in front of the television, the average person burns less energy than when they are asleep. So if you want to lose weight, don’t sit in front of the television. Recent studies have shown that for every 30 min of sitting, you lose a day off your lifespan.
The television is not entirely at fault. The type of seat is also important. In the past, dining chairs used to be high and firm, but more recently, lounges and sofas seem to be lower and softer so when you sit on them your are crushing your lateral abdominal and hip muscles between your ribs and your hips. The older your lounge or sofa gets, the more they sag and the more difficult for you to get out. Its like a trap. The easiest remedy would be to get a wedge cushion and sit on top of it with the thick part of the wedge at the back to avoid sinking into the chair. This will benefit most chairs to make them firmer and more upright. Another alternative is to remove the cushions and place a piece of wood such as 5 ply on top of the frame of the chair, then replace the cushions back on top. You can also put more stuffing into the cushions. The third option is to purchase a taller and firmer chair especially if there are tall people in the household. When back pain is present, try to avoid sitting on lounges or sofas. Instead use the dining chair or office chair. they will also be easier to get up from. When the pain improves, try sitting on a fit ball as this will work your core muscles hard, strengthening them in the process. You can get up frequently if it becomes uncomfortable. remember to do the posture breathing when sitting.