According to the Mayo Clinic, back pain is one of the single biggest reasons that people pay a visit to their doctors. What's worse, "it is the leading cause of disability worldwide." As the NIH has reported, "one-quarter of adults have at least one day of lower back pain in a three-month period." Throw in a full year of working-from-home in ergonomically nightmarish dining-room chairs and the mass closure of gyms, and no doubt those figures are looking increasingly worse.
Believe it or not, there are some great little exercises you can do while seated at your desk that can give you back some much needed love. What follow are three great little exercise moves—all inspired by Pilates, the strengthening-and-stretching mode of exercise that famously targets the core muscles and relieves strain to the back. Follow the prescribed movements and instructions, and you'll be feeling less pain in your own lower back.
Sit tall in your chair with your lower back flat against your backrest, shoulders square, feet flat on the floor, and knees together. Inhale through your nose and scoop your stomach muscles inward and up for a count of 5. Release. Do 3 to 5 reps.
Sit with your back straight and your knees together. Using your gluteus maximus, lift and straighten your leg, keeping your stomach scooped. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat on both sides 3 to 5 times. This works your core muscles.
Sit up straight and turn your head to the right as far as you can. Hold. Keep your chin parallel to the floor. Now turn to the left and hold. Repeat 4 times. This will eliminate tension at the base of your neck before it can travel down your back.