Do You Have Back Pain From Sitting Too Long?

Back Pain from Sitting Too Long
Back Pain from Sitting Too Long


Now that many of us are working from home because of COVID19, the incidents of people reporting back pain seems to have risen.  Others complain of pain in their hands, or neck or shoulders.  Do you have back pain from sitting too long?

Why is that?  Are we working longer?  Are we under more stress?  Are you, like me, working from a laptop at a kitchen table?  Or sometimes sitting on your bed with your laptop?  

I am sure most of us can not buy ergonomic furniture to improve our situation and therefore our posture.  But we can practice some other activities that will help relieve some of the discomfort.  

Some Recommendations for Relieving Back Pain

Stop Working!  

“What?”, you may say.  But this is the first step to addressing the pain.  Get up and take a short break.  After all, you do that at work anyway, right?  Walk around for a few minutes.  Go outside and walk around the house.  I’m not talking about a long break.  Just a few minutes to clear your head, get some fresh air and rest your eyes.  

I now practice setting an alarm for ½ hour.  I work hard for that time frame, then my alarm sounds and I get up and move.  Adjust the times to your preference, but in any event MOVE!  Trust me, you will work better and feel better.  

A side benefit is tracking my work output.  I now know how much time I am spending on a project and can plan better.


You knew I was going to say that, right?  Our bodies were made to move, not sit.  Most of us are sitting way too long.  (I was a letter carrier for a few years.  Kept in great shape!  Letter carriers have one of the longest life spans.  Tells you something, doesn’t it?)

Ideally we should walk in the morning, in the evening and any other time that we can fit in.  It seems counter-intuitive when you are in pain to move, but movement is actually like applying a pain ointment.  

Not only will it help you decrease your pain but there are so many other benefits.  It is good for your heart, strengthens your bones, reduces fat and increases muscle.  I have been inspired in my neighborhood to see people walking even though they are obviously in pain.  They are my heros! (Because I live with chronic pain and I know how hard it is to move when you hurt.)

There are more benefits if you have stairs.  My friend recommended I take the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment.  She said it might help my butt pain.  Although it hasn’t addressed that pain yet, I know my heart is in better shape after just a few weeks.  I’m not sucking air like I did before.  


Sit up straight!  If necessary use a rolled up towel against your lower back to force you to do so.  Adjust the keyboard so you don’t have to bend over to reach it.

Sitting Too Long Causes Back Pain

Your neck should be held at an upright position.  Raise the screen to eye level so you aren’t bending all day.  

Have your arms at right angles to your body.  Rest your hands lightly on the desk so your fingers can move freely on the keyboard. 

Plant your feet firmly on the floor.  This helps you sit up straight.  

You can maintain this position for that ½ hour I am recommending, right?  Trust me, you will see payoffs immediately.


I have recommended two DVDs that I use for daily stretching.  See these two articles if you want to investigate further.  Emily Lark’s Back to Life.  Jane Adams Gentle Yoga.  They are both based on yoga principles, which have been promoted to help with balance, flexibility, and pain relief.  

There are hundreds of options out there.  You could do a Google search to find lots of free options.  

If you don’t want to search right now, but just want some relief, here’s what I recommend.  (They take only a few minutes.)

  • Sit on the floor, stretch legs as far apart as is comfortably possible.  With straight back, lean from the hips forward, stretching your hands out in front of you.  Do not over stretch or cause yourself pain. Hold this position for 30 seconds.  Breathe slowly with your face loose.
  • Lie on your back with legs straight out.  Leaving one leg straight, bring the other leg up to your chest by bending it and pulling it with your hands/arms.  Do at least 5 times on each leg.
  • Sit straight in an upright hard chair, about half way back.  Cross one leg over the other, so that it is parallel to the floor.  Bend the foot so it is tense.  Push on that knee with the same side hand, so that you are pushing it toward the floor.  Hold for 15 seconds.  If you don’t feel the stretch, lean forward a little till you do.  

I found this video of stretches that you can do at home.  Just a minute long!  Hope it helps you feel better!

Neck Stretches

Because our necks take lots of tension as we work at our computers it is vital that we focus on stretching it during the day.  One thing I learned in neck stretching is to never push your head with your hand.  Let the weight of your head stretch your neck.  

Here are a two suggestions:

  • Slowly turn your head to the right and the left as far as is comfortable.  Turn to each side five times.
  • Lean your head to each shoulder, slowly, as far as is comfortable.  Do this five times each side.

Hand stretches

Do your fingers ache from working at the computer?  Or your wrists?  One action I have been doing is to use my other hand.  It’s kind of clunky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.  It really does save your dominant hand.  

I copied these images from Pinterest.  They should help.

For your hands:

3-Minute Stretch and Massage for Hand Pain


For your wrists:

Wrist HEP

Other Options

If you have access to a pool, then water movement is highly recommended.  Even if you can’t swim, walking and or any type of movement in the water is very helpful.  The water holds your body up and provides less stress on your knees and gives you more resistance as you move.

Biking is an activity that isn’t for everybody, but I found great relief from my buttock pain when I ride.  It seems that the position of bending over and extending my legs helps to relieve the nerve pain.  

Just a few minutes of any exercise can be very helpful and therapeutic.  Exercise has so many other benefits which I haven’t discussed in this article.  

Here is a link to some different exercises that you can do, some of which you can do from your chair.  They are easy and quick.  

Mental Health; Being Present

Let’s not forget our state of mind through all this.  I understand that this time in our history is very anxiety producing.  I don’t have any quick answers, but I know that talking about it helps just about anyone.  Therefore I hope you have someone you can talk to if you are anxious or depressed.  

If you don’t, email me in the comments below.  I’ll see if I can find an organization to reach out to you.  

If you are looking to just calm yourself, all the above exercises will help you.  Practicing mindfulness meditation can also help your state of mind.  See my article for information about how to practice it by clicking this link.  Just remember, you can’t do anything about the past, other than learn from your mistakes.  You have no control over the future other than to plan for it.  So be present, learn and plan.  


Was this helpful?  I sure hope so.  I would love to hear your feedback on this topic.  Especially if you found the exercises helpful.  Or if you have recommendations for other exercises or stretches, let me know.  Your comments are welcome.


I am not a medical professional.  I am a chronic pain sufferer.  I spend hours researching natural pain remedies.  And then I write about them, in hopes someone might find some relief.  So, I recommend you always speak to your doctor before you start something new as far as physical exercise.  If you are taking a class, be sure to tell your instructor of your issues.  

Also, as an affiliate marketer, I sometimes include links in my posts to products that I recommend.  I do not recommend any products in this post, so I do not have affiliate links here.


3 Ways to Relieve Pain Naturally (That Will Impress Your Friends)

I’m not really going for impressing your friends here, as much as impressing you.  But I liked the title.  Are you proactive about your health? I think you must be, or you wouldn’t be here reading this post right now. You, like me, are looking for ways to relieve your pain. And to relieve it without using medication or resorting to surgery or shots. In my research I have found other information that might assist you in your search to relieve your pain naturally. But it does require you to take action to relieve your pain naturally.  Three ways to relieve pain naturally is an article that should help you to take action and find some relief.  


Many foods can impact us in a negative way, which makes our pain greater. Other foods can actually calm the pain, decreasing the affects of pain.

Apparently saturated fat intake can create adipose fat inflammation, according to the National Cancer Institute. And inflammation leads to pain. Our love of pizza and cheese are culprits here.

According to the British Nutrition Foundation there are five foods you should try to cut back on to reduce your saturated fat intake. They are: Butter, Cream cheese, Fatty meats, Meat products, and cakes and cookies. (They call them biscuits.) So the action here is not so much what to do, but what not to do! And isn’t it just so sad that these are some of the things we love? I’ve told my friends that I can be happy with just a nice piece of french bread and butter. Well, I better limit that if I want to feel better!

On the other hand, eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, according to Dr. Axe ( Some foods that contain omegas are: wild caught salmon, raisins, and walnuts.

Other recommended foods that fight inflammation are blackberries, blueberries, and cherries. Those blueberries are such a powerful food anyway, that it doesn’t take much to add them to your diet. They are even good snack food.

Movement, Exercise, Posture

Just today, because I had a wakeful night, I finally got around to doing my stretches. I usually start my day with them. So I was functioning with some pain. I disciplined myself to do my stretches after lunch. What a difference! It was a good lesson for me. See, starting my day with stretches helps me avoid the pain or lessen it throughout the day. But doing it in the middle of the day, I saw instant relief. I can’t stress enough the importance of some movement or stretching. Exercise releases endorphins also! These hormones are the body’s natural pain killers. So you get a one two punch to your pain.  You can see what I am currently using for my stretch program here.  Back to Life with Emily Lark, and Jane Adam’s Gentle Yoga.

Did you know that walking has an impact on your pain? Most of us know the benefits to our heart, our blood pressure, and our blood glucose. Walking burns calories and makes us fitter. But it also helps manage pain. Again, the body releases endorphins while we walk, thus lowering our pain levels naturally. It’s like you are taking a pill to lessen your pain. But the body is producing the pill! Ha! Furthermore, you are loosening your joints, stretching muscles, and increasing oxygen intake. There are other forms of exercise that are low impact. Swimming comes to mind. Biking would be another low impact exercise. There was a time that riding my bike was the only time I was pain free. As I went along in this journey, I found other ways to lessen my pain.

Physical therapy has helped many with pain management. I was able to get a referral from my pain management doctor. I told him I didn’t want to go the traditional western medicine route and get a shot. I believe you truly have to advocate for yourself regarding this, because most doctors just don’t recommend this first. So I was able to go for several sessions of physical therapy. I believe here in CA you have to get a referral for physical therapy. But it still wasn’t cheap. I think it’s cheaper than medication or shots or surgery though. And since it’s natural, you don’t have to worry about side effects. I found the therapists to be very personable and caring. They teach you exercises specifically for your situation and then give you homework to practice them.

Did you know your posture can also impact your pain level? My acupuncturist told me to sit up straight. Most of us slouch in our chairs. One website said to picture a rod, like a plumb line, going from the ceiling to the floor. Align your spine with that. It takes work! And a conscious effort! Stick your chest out. Keep your neck straight. I sometimes feel self conscious about this, like I’m trying to look uppity. But it makes a difference. This is a kind of continuous stretch that pulls the vertebra off the discs and relieves pressure. Ahhhh! Also, be sure to regularly gently twist your neck from side to side and up and down. Staring at our phones and computer screens for long periods of time can negatively impact our posture.

Your Bed

Have you thought about how your mattress may be contributing to your pain? This was one of the first things I did when my pain began; to buy a new mattress. My pain caused fitful nights, because I couldn’t get into a comfortable position. Finding a new mattress that supported my spine was a good investment. I read that you should change your mattress every 7 – 10 years. But I think the key criterion should be if it is giving you support. I wish I could recommend a brand. I bought mine from a local business which has them made specifically for the business. He is a military veteran and all his products are made in America. I wanted to support that. His business is Cost Plus Mattress in La Verne, CA just in case you live locally.

I did some more research though and found a company that has natural products and is highly rated.  It’s called NaturePedic.  Click on the image to go to their website.  






Remember, I am not a doctor. I am just a fellow pain sufferer. I make these recommendations in hope that one or more of them help you in your suffering. See my other posts for other remedies that may help you in overcoming your pain. And please leave a comment or question. Your interaction may help another sufferer toward relief.


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