‘Sit still’ culture to blame for back pain

Research carried out revealed that over half of young adults suffer from back pain, with an inactive lifestyle to blame

From sitting for hours at work, then grabbing a seat on the tube home and finally becoming ensconced on the sofa in the evening, it’s no wonder half of young adults are supposedly suffering from back pain caused by the ‘sit still’ culture.

In a recent survey carried out by Pfizer, half of the 2,400 18-34-year-olds questioned admitted to regularly suffering back pain, with a quarter saying it affected their ability to work.

It seems that our daily routine of sitting for long periods of time, coupled with a lack of exercise, is leading to loss of muscle tone in our backs, which is in turn weakening the stability of our spine.

‘Millions of people aged 18 to 34 are destined to spend the next 60 years living with back pain,’ says Sean McDougall, chief executive of the charity BackCare.

‘The “sit still” culture of schools and the workplace, combined with lack of exercise, is creating a healthcare timebomb.’

Of the adults that suffer from back pain, 52 per cent said it prevented them from performing daily tasks, while 9 per cent said it affected their sex lives.

The Can You Feel My Pain campaign is intent on highlighting the prevalence of neuropathic pain, which regularly goes undiagnosed by GPs.

Dr Ollie Hart, who has a special interest in chronic pain says: ‘Back pain is often treated as a routine condition by GPs, despite the fact that it can lead to many visits and unresolved complications. Healthcare professionals can use simple checks to ensure they are prescribing the most effective treatments.’

To help ease back pain, it is important to keep moving during the day. Try to exercise as often as possible and remember to take regular breaks at work.

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