Does sitting posture affect spinal biomechanics?
- RRS Education
Low back pain (LBP) is an extremely common problem amongst office workers (I always called them “sitting creatures”!). Prolonged sitting is thought to be associated with low back and buttock pain, and discomfort associated with sitting may even predict future LBP. However, there are controversial findings regarding whether sitting duration or sitting postures are related to the initial development of non-specific LBP. The discrepancy might be attributed to divergent study designs, sitting durations and/or measurement methods.
Prior biomechanical research has found that slouched sitting may induce viscoelastic creep of spinal tissues, which may desensitize mechanoreceptors in spinal tissues, alter the joint sense, overload passive spinal structures and result in LBP. Importantly, different sitting postures may have differential influences on the activation or deactivation of trunk muscles (stabilizers), which may amplify the adverse biomechanical effects of creep on passive spinal tissues after sitting. However, no studies have comprehensively investigated the short-term effects of common sitting postures on ensuing changes and recovery of pain and spinal biomechanics of asymptomatic individuals. As such, the authors of this study sought to compare the effects of three common sitting postures (slouched, upright and supported sitting with a backrest) on pain, lumbar ROM, proprioception and trunk muscle activity immediately following 20-mins of sitting and 30-mins of recovery…enjoy!
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: "Effect of Sitting Posture on Spinal Biomechanics in Asymptomatic Subjects”
This paper was published in Gait & Posture (2019) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Ergonomics and the 2020 Archive.