'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

Back pain-back
Back pain-back

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.


Natalia Lubomirski
Natalia is a health journalist with 14 years experience in the publishing industry. She has worked for a number of well known magazines and websites including Marie Claire, Woman&Home, Top Sante, Boots and The Telegraph.  She likes to think she practices what she preaches when it comes to health and fitness. Her athletic prowess began early. A keen fencer for 13 years, she wielded an epée for Olympic Team GB during her teenage years. She likes to think she made sword-fighting cool before Game of Thrones came along! While working on her sporting performance with the team, she also participated in a lot of nutrition and psychology training, When it comes to time off, you’ll most likely find her up a mountain somewhere. It seems holidays have become a time for climbing several thousand feet, rather than chilling out. She’s now hiked eight of the major mountain ranges across four continents – including the Appalachians, the Smokies, the Sierra Nevadas (she spent her honeymoon hiking to the top of Half Dome), as well as hitting the summits of Snowdon, Pen-Y-Fan (Brecon Beacons), Table Mountain in South Africa, the Blue Mountains in Australia and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. She’s also passionate about all things health, particularly vaccinations, and will happily jump on her soap box at any given opportunity to talk about their benefits to anyone who will listen!