Only when there is pain, stiff muscles, and the like do we give our back the attention it deserves. In everyday life, we often ignore our back health: we move too little, sit too long or sit incorrectly. Possible consequences can be muscle weakness and muscular imbalances, which trigger symptoms.

 

The healthy back: our strengthening framework

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It consists of vertebrae, joints, numerous ligament structures, the cartilaginous intervertebral discs, larger and smaller nerve cords and, last but not least, the protective and stabilizing back muscles. Our back’s natural shape is described in anatomy as a double S shape: This means that the natural line of our back – viewed from the side – follows the lines of the letter S twice. The cervical spine, like the lumbar spine, is slightly bent forward in the natural position, the thoracic spine is physiologically slightly curved backward. To avoid misalignments, it is important to actively counteract an increased tendency of these spine sections (such as the so-called hunchback in the thoracic spine area or the hollow back in the lumbar spine area) – with the strength of the muscles! How muscle tension affects the posture of the lower back can be experienced in a short exercise.

 

The muscles of our back are embedded in a functional system unit. The back and abdominal muscles hold and support each other – if one area fails due to weakness or paralysis, other parts of the supporting apparatus can absorb this imbalance to a certain extent. The following applies: Not only a strong and muscular back is decisive for freedom from pain, sometimes muscular imbalances (such as abdominal muscles that are too weak) can also be the cause of complaints.

 

Back exercise in everyday life: dynamic sitting

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“Sitting is the new smoking!” This is how the findings of various studies from the past few years can be summed up. A lack of exercise in everyday life harms the back and affects the cardiovascular system, for example. So what can you do to improve your (back) health while you are seated?

 

3 tips for a healthy back while sitting

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“Sit up straight!” This helpful hint goes through many people’s minds when they get tired of sitting at a desk for long periods of time. But it’s not that simple – because stubborn “sitting upright” is not the right motto. Rather, the following applies: There is no right or wrong posture when sitting, the dynamics of changing sitting posture and general movement in the workplace are decisive! The intervertebral discs between the vertebrae are best relieved and supplied if you vary your sitting position frequently. So it is perfectly allowed to relax briefly and lean your back if a phase of active tension follows this.
So change your sitting position more often. For a long time, back-troubled office workers were recommended to use the Pezzi exercise ball or an office chair with a ball-bearing seat – today we know: an overstrain for inexperienced back muscles! It is better to actively change your position yourself on a well-adjusted and ergonomic chair (for example, sitting on the edge of the chair alternating with a more passive posture).
The basis is the correct furnishing of the workplace: because everyone needs an individual setting of their office furniture. This also applies to children. From the height of the office chair to the orientation of the screen and the keyboard’s position, all of these factors are important for a healthy back.
But even with so much dynamic sitting, you should try to get up and move around as often as possible. Whether it’s a quick call or a meeting during the break, take every opportunity to take a few steps.

 

Dynamic standing as back training

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Similar to sitting, standing means: keep moving! The basis of a good stance is an upright posture.

Your feet already form the basis of a good stand. If you are stable and secure on the floor, this is the best basis for the spine’s upright and physiological posture. And the chain of supporting joints for a healthy posture continues: the normal position of the knee and hip joints also influences posture – if the muscles are weak, this has a direct effect on your back. If you stand for a long time, you should be even more careful to change your position regularly.

Shift your weight from one leg to the other.
If possible, lean in.
Support your arms and relieve your back for a short time.
Slowly turn your head from right to left, stretching your neck by tilting your head slightly towards your chest.

 

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