“Sitting is the New Smoking?” Why and How?
Prolonged seating can cause weakness, numbness and pain on the back. When we sit, we usually will not be aware of the level of compression and degeneration that our spine is encountering.
The traditional concept of 90-degree sitting the vertebrae and disks are incorrectly loaded. They are pressed together in the front, and the back muscles and ligaments are constantly stretched. ( as shown on the left hand side of the top figure) Resulting in poor circulation, weak muscles, and an increased risk of back aches. When we sit in a 90-degree angle, we usually need to take more effort to support on upper body and spine and as a result that will also cause uneven pressure to the pelvis and the lower back discs.
The way to protect your spine while sitting should not be a 90 degree angle:
Your hips should be higher than the knees with your feet planted on the floor, which is a position that can maintain a the proper level of curvature in your lumbar, and lower back; thus, helping to reduce compression.
What happens when your discs is properly aligned?
When our discs are evenly loaded, and the small movements you make when, e.g., turning or reaching for things activate and thus strengthen your back and core muscles – all the while sitting in a good, upright posture. Circulation remains undisturbed the whole day.
For your information on the disc pressure chart: