5 Powerful Seated Posture Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

5 Powerful Seated Posture Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

Looking for seated posture exercises to reduce back pain? Continue reading to learn more!

Back pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide, and one of the leading causes of this discomfort is poor posture.

In today's sedentary lifestyle, where many of us spend long hours sitting at desks or in front of screens, maintaining proper posture can be challenging. 

However, the good news is that there are effective exercises that can be done while seated to help improve posture and reduce back pain. In this article, we will explore five powerful seated posture exercises that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. 

Whether you're working from home, in the office, or just need a break from sitting for extended periods, these exercises are simple, convenient, and can make a significant difference in alleviating back pain and promoting a healthier posture. 

Say goodbye to slouching and hello to a stronger, pain-free back with these exercises! Let’s get right into it:

1. What are the most common reasons for back pain?

1.1. Sedentary way of life

Spending too much of our time without activating our body muscles leads to their slackening and loss of muscle tone. Every time we need the muscles that support the spine we will experience discomfort or pain caused by their contraction. 

Pain can also appear when suddenly twisting or bending, and again the reason is the weakness of the muscles due to the sedentary lifestyle, moving to the office chair, the car and the sofa. 

If you are living a sedentary way of life, seated posture exercises are essential for alleviating back pain. 

1.2. Physiological changes

The cause of back pain can be physiological and due to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or weight gain in the waist area. 

In the last two cases, the weight imbalance in the front and back of the body is the cause of the increase in the load on the back and waist, but the condition is considered normal and there is no cause for concern. 

After passing the period or losing the extra centimetres in the waist, the discomfort and pain subside. For this reason, it’s important to regularly do seated posture exercises if you are looking to reduce back pain.

1.3. Illness or injury

Injuries and diseases of the spine and the soft tissues and nerves around it cause pain in the back and lower back. Pinched or ruptured intervertebral discs, inflammation of muscles or nerve endings, sprains and spinal curvatures are among the causes of severe pain. 

The pain is neutralised after specialised medical intervention and in almost all cases physical activity is not recommended until the period of exacerbation or inflammation has passed.

1.4. Physical overload

Overuse of the muscles can also cause pain and discomfort in the back, which can occur with movements such as leaning to the side or bending forward, as well as with a resting position. 

Overdoing the exercise, weights or repetitions poses risks to the health of the spine as it can lead to hypertonicity and shortening of muscles, compression of intervertebral discs and even compression of nerves. 

To avoid soreness, make sure you load all the muscles in your body in a balanced way and allow enough time for stretching and recovery of the muscles being trained.

1.5. Uncomfortable shoes

When the soles, insoles or shape of the shoes do not fit the foot, back pain and especially lower back pain may occur.

The endings of the nerves coming out of the lower part of the spine reach the foot and through them all the information about its condition is transmitted. 

When the shoes are uncomfortable, there is a possibility that pain will appear in the foot, and from there, through a nerve path, it will be transmitted all the way to the buttock or the waist, and it is possible that the pain may not be localised in the foot at all, but only be felt in the back. 

On top of regularly doing seated posture exercises, be careful in your choice of shoes and use orthopaedic insoles made specifically for your foot to minimise the chance of foot deformity or back pain.

2. How do I know if my back pain is serious?

Back pain is not serious if there is a physical change such as pregnancy or sudden weight gain in the waist, but if the pain is constant it is a signal of an emerging problem.

It is important to pay attention to daily activities and what could be causing the pain. As we have already mentioned, overloading as well as lack of loading can be causes of pain. The human body has its own ways of showing us that something is wrong, we just have to learn to read the signals. 

In this case, the body begins to warn long before the onset of severe pain. It starts with a limitation of movement when bending forward, then repeatedly with discomfort and a sudden urge to stretch the severely contracted muscle, and when we do not pay attention to these signals, the body reacts to the emerging problem with pain.

If you lead an overly active or sedentary life, this may be the cause of the pain. Start stretching, walking more, and give yourself plenty of time to recover and rest. Doing seated posture exercises will be essential for taking control of the pain on time.

There are two types of pain that can signal more serious problems. In one case, it is the onset of sharp and severe pain. In one hundred percent of cases, this is a signal of a sudden problem or trauma. 

If your pain is such that you need to immediately stop any movement and find a nearby place to sit or lie down. Call a medical team and wait for their arrival and assistance. it is absolutely contraindicated when this type of pain occurs to stand up sharply, stretch or twist.

In the second type of pain, a gradual increase is noticed over a longer period of time. This can signal both the presence of inflammation and a developing spinal disease. 

If the pain is repeated during certain periods of time, at a certain time of the year, or if it is increasing every following day, it is probably a question of the above-mentioned probabilities, and again it is necessary to seek a doctor's opinion for the application of appropriate treatment.

3. 5 seated posture exercises

3.1. Twisting

The number one on our list of seated posture exercises that you need to do is called twisting.

Take a sitting position on the chair. The arms are at the sides of the body. Lift the left leg and cross it over the right. Take a deep breath and puff out your belly to fill your lower back with air and stretch your lumbar muscles.

Exhaling the back by turning the body to the left and placing the hands on the backrest behind you. The body is twisted in the opposite direction - the lower part of the body is directed to the right, and the upper part is directed to the left. 

Hold the position for three deep breaths while trying to look back ie. twist the body as much as possible. Slowly come back forward, place the arms along the body and place the left foot on the floor. Begin performing the exercise in the other direction.

3.2. Cobra variation

Next on our list of seated posture exercises is called cobra variation.

Stand in front of the chair facing it. Rest your palms on the seat and extend your legs back until a straight line is formed from head to toe. 

Slowly drop your buttocks down as you curl your body down as in the classic yoga pose "Cobra". Inhale and open the chest. Push the body up and back and look up. Exhale and, to avoid hanging on your shoulders, push them down away from your ears. 

Hold this position for a few seconds. Slowly bring your body back to a straight line, then round your back, bend your knees, and slowly return to standing in front of the chair. Take a short sitting break.

3.3. Leg extension

Start from a seated position on a chair. Sit in such a way that the buttocks and thighs are completely on the seat, and the angle formed by the knees is ninety degrees. Lean back and press your back firmly against the backrest. 

This is the main position from which the exercise is performed and the main sitting position. Use your hands to support the seat. Point the toes of the right foot in counter and slowly begin to extend the leg forward until it is straight. 

Keep your back straight and your buttocks close to the seat. Hold the foot in the maximally raised position for three deep breaths. Slowly return the foot to the floor. Perform the exercise with the other leg as well. Do three repetitions on each leg. 

This is one of the best seated posture exercises if you are looking to reduce back pain.

3.4. Stretching the gluteal muscles  

Start from a seated position on a chair. Lift one leg bent at the knee up. Open the knee outward and place the ankle on the knee of the supporting leg. 

With your hands, hold the ankle and knee of the working leg and begin to bend down with your back as straight as possible, trying to direct and bring the chest closer to the ankle of the working leg. 

Exhale and hold for a few seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and perform the exercise with the other leg. Repeat several times on each leg.

3.5. Cat-cow variation

The last on our list of seated posture exercises is the cat-cow variation.

Start from a seated position on a chair. Place the seat halfway up the seat to allow room for body movement. Place each hand on the hamstring or just above the back of the knee and hold them there. 

Take a deep breath and arch your back by pushing your buttocks hard back and opening your chest forward. Arch at the waist and extend the neck up toward the ceiling. As you exhale, tuck your chin toward your chest, round your spine, and roll your pelvis forward to bring your tailbone toward your knees. 

Stretch your spine. Inhaling again, unfold the body forward and up and slowly exhaling, draw it inwards. Perform ten repetitions keeping the synchrony between movement and breathing.

4. Is it possible to correct years of bad posture?

It is quite possible to correct poor posture with proper seated posture exercises (and other types of exercises), as well as desire on the part of the practitioner. Correcting years of poor posture can also take years, but the practice shows good success rates even in elderly practitioners. 

Depending on the position of the body, the amount of muscle mass, age and the presence of diseases, an individual program and methods to be applied during the program to achieve results are determined. 

What anyone who wants to restore their posture should know is that the process is long and very often associated with physical discomfort and a lot of effort on their part, and this is the only way to restore posture and health.

Any promise that it will be light or easy can be taken as a delusion and will almost certainly not deliver results. Restoring the body's posture is a complex job and involves almost all the movements the body makes, which means the process is long and continuous. 

You can choose other methods to restore your posture, such as yoga, pilates and swimming, but I would recommend corrective gymnastics as the closest to the natural movements of the body in everyday life and the most comprehensive. So, you can easily get started with seated posture exercises.

5. Improving your sitting posture

A large part of the modern person's day is spent sitting, and that is why it is so important to maintain a correct posture while sitting, through which we could preserve the health of our spine for the rest of our lives. 

There are two main steps to take to improve your sitting posture. First you need to fix the office chair and the car seat. Then fix your position when sitting. Your back should be fully pressed against the lumbar support and your spine should be extended. 

This is a daily practice to improve posture when sitting. So in addition to keeping your back healthy, you'll look taller and more energetic.