If you have a desk job, you know how miserable it can be when you have back pain. A new study suggests one technique that can help.
This small study involved 23 office workers who were all overweight or obese (the researchers were also investigating heart disease and diabetes risk factors). Half the workers were told to keep sitting all day for five days, while the other half alternated 30-minute stints of sitting and standing throughout the day with an adjustable workstation. Then the groups switched roles for another five days.
When sit-standing, the workers reported significantly lower levels of fatigue and 32% less low back pain symptoms. Those are promising results.
Two notes of caution:
1) This was a very small, short-term study
2) Don’t mistake standing for being less sedentary (believe it or not, the lead researcher did!)
Personally, I prefer walk breaks, even if they are only for a few seconds. Unlike standing, walking is exercise, and it reminds my back how to function normally. But if you don’t have the time or your boss frowns on it, try sit-standing.