Effects of Sitting Combatted by West Des Moines Exercise and Not Sitting!

“Sitting. It’s the new smoking.” You’ve heard this claim. Executive Chiropractic of Iowa sees the effects of sitting in our West Des Moines chiropractic practice in the form of back pain, neck pain and associated issues. Let’s consider sitting and being sedentary workers and what we can do about it.


Is the sitting and smoking a little harsh? Maybe. One medical report stated that 300 news articles mention this claim! (1) Harsh or not, it does call attention to the concern that sitting a lot isn’t healthy for anyone. 25% of adults including West Des Moines chiropractic patients and adults sit more than 8 hours a day. Older adults are said to sit even more. (2) Executive Chiropractic of Iowa realizes 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% lead sedentary lives, 48.5% had underactive lifestyles, and 68.3% of them didn’t do any activity to enhance muscle strength or flexibility. (3) Continued sitting posed a risk for all-cause mortality separate from physical activity even if it’s of moderate to vigorous effort. The best suggestion is to decrease the quantity of sitting not just increase physical activity levels. (4) Executive Chiropractic of Iowa supports both, too!


One author opined the conundrum of the “exercise to buffer sitting’s effect” implication as an “inconvenient truth”: a few weekly visits to the fitness center can’t really wipe away a lifetime of sitting. He also contended that fixing the sitting issue by standing has its own problems (beyond its being uncomfortable!) like foot pain and varicose veins. (5) So what then, especially for low back pain sufferers? Dynamic strengthening exercises – those that focus on core and global stabilization plus endurance in stabilizing musculature – displayed better improvement in pain relief and better function particularly in the lumbar multifidus and transversus abdominus which are two muscles that low back pain affects. (6) More precisely, 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 effective and persisted for 12 weeks. (7) A bonus to lumbar segmental stabilization exercise is that it activated the deep muscles and boosted 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, especially for those with chronic lumbago in whom these exercises decreased pain. (9) Exercise helps! It isn’t everything for us sedentary folks, but exercise is a piece of the puzzle.

CONTACT Executive Chiropractic of Iowa

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 irritates us sitting folks.

Schedule you West Des Moines chiropractic appointment with Executive Chiropractic of Iowa today. If “sitting is the new smoking” issue describes you and back pain complicates it, West Des Moines chiropractic care is for you…in addition to striving to not sit that much and exercising a bit more!

Executive Chiropractic of Iowa encourages less sitting and more exercising to combat back pain and other pain issues. 
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"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."