Effects of Sitting Combatted by Southern New Hampshire Exercise and Not Sitting!

February 18, 2020

“Sitting. It’s the new smoking.” You’ve heard this claim. New Hampshire Spine and Sport sees the effects of sitting in our Southern New Hampshire chiropractic practice in the form of back pain, neck pain and associated issues. Let us discuss sitting and being sedentary workers and what our options might be.


Is the sitting and smoking a little harsh? Maybe. One medical report found that 300 news articles cite this claim! (1) Harsh or not, it does highlight the concern that sitting a lot is not healthy for anyone. 25% of adults Southern New Hampshire chiropractic patients and adults included sit more than 8 hours daily. Older adults are said to sit even more. (2) New Hampshire Spine and Sport knows we all sit. We are not shaming you! We are with you!


Sitting is what we do. Researchers tell us that the activity level of low back pain suffers is low. Of 300 patients, 32.5% live sedentary lives, 48.5% live underactive lifestyles, and 68.3% of them did not do any activity to boost muscle strength or flexibility. (3) Continued sitting created a risk for all-cause mortality unrelated to physical activity even if it is of moderate to vigorous effort. The best suggestion is to reduce the quantity of sitting not just boost physical activity levels. (4) New Hampshire Spine and Sport encourages both, too!


One author opined the challenge of the “exercise to buffer sitting’s effect” suggestion as an “inconvenient truth”: a few weekly trips to the gym isn’t able to really wipe away a lifetime of sitting. He also shared that fixing the sitting issue by standing has its own problems (beyond its being uncomfortable!) like varicose veins and foot pain. (5) So what then, particularly for low back pain sufferers? Dynamic strengthening exercises – those that concentrate on core and global stabilization plus endurance in stabilizing musculature – showed better improvement in pain relief and better function particularly in the lumbar multifidus and transversus abdominus which are 2 muscles that low back pain affects. (6) More specifically, a 20-week lumbar stabilization exercise and muscle strengthening exercise program reduced low back pain and functional disability in sedentary workers. A lumbar stabilization exercise program was more helpful and lasted for 12 weeks. (7) An advantage to lumbar segmental stabilization exercise is that it activated the deep muscles and enhanced respiratory function and pressure in chronic low back pain patient who had segmental instability. (8) Respiration is a big deal! Another study showed that forced breathing exercise therapy effectively improved trunk stability and daily living activities in chronic low back pain patients, particularly for those with chronic lumbago in whom these exercises reduced pain. (9) Exercise helps! It isn’t everything for us sedentary folks, but exercise is a part of the solution.

CONTACT New Hampshire Spine and Sport

Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Shawn Nelson on The Back Doctors Podcast about The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management’s role in back pain management to help a runner re-gain his stride despite his facet syndrome back pain condition that bothers us sitting folks.

Schedule you Southern New Hampshire chiropractic appointment with New Hampshire Spine and Sport today. If “sitting is the new smoking” issue describes you and back pain complicates it, Southern New Hampshire chiropractic care is for you…in addition to striving to not sit that much and exercising a bit more!

New Hampshire Spine and Sport encourages less sitting and more exercising to combat back pain and other pain issues.