Nearly everyone who has sat at a desk for a lengthy period of time during their lives (all of us) has probably dealt with some form of low back tightness or pain. A lot of that is caused by the fact that sitting down in a chair for long periods of time is not natural. The human body was designed to squat, not sit! Long periods of sitting can cause muscular imbalances, tightness in the posterior chain (like the hamstrings and the psoas), and ultimately lead to that nagging back tightness and pain we've all likely experienced at one time or another. One study showed that the prevalence of that type of low back pain and tightness 2-4 times higher in the general populations of highly industrialized countries like Sweden, Germany, and Belgium than it is amongst farmers in Nigeria, China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Now I'm not suggesting you grab a box and spend your time squatting in front of your desk and computer (although that would be quite the sight!), but I am suggesting that if you want to deal with the issue of low back pain or tightness, you need to address, on a daily basis, the causes of that pain. First, strengthen the muscles and address the imbalances by doing constantly varied functional movements. Second, mobilize every day, meaning the use of proper stretching and self-myofascial release (foam rolling). Finally, and most importantly, sit less!
Okay, you can sit down if you're rowing a 5:56.7 2k on an erg.
Posted by Zareh.