Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. The blessings include less travel time, more flexibility in working hours, and the ability to pop into the kitchen for lunch. The curse is that you have to stay organized, there can be many interruptions in the house and finally your home “office” chair may not be best suited for your back.
Lower back pain can stem from a number of reasons. It can be from weak core muscles, sitting long hours without standing up, and muscle imbalances. Improper sitting is one of the biggest culprits for lower back pain and your home office chair may need to change.
To check if your chair is helping or harming your seated work experience, first take a look at the height of the chair. When you sit, are your hips higher or lower than your knees? If your hips are lower than your knees, then your lower back arches and your hips tip the pelvis forward. Unless you are pushing your lower back into the chair to bring the pelvis back to neutral, your body puts pressure on the lower back vertebrae and can cause lower back pain. Even if you were to put a lumbar support pillow behind the back, the pelvis would still be rocked forward and stressing the lower back. If your hips are higher than your knees, then the thighs angle downward helping the pelvis to balance and the lower back from arching. Also, the higher chair height allows you to lift up the ribs to stay seated which works the core muscles to stabilize the spine. While a round ball can be a good substitute for an office chair, if the ball is too low to the ground, the same hip tilt and low back arch can happen, resulting in pressure on the lower back.
If your chair is too low, simply add a large pillow or foam cushion to sit on so that the knees drop below the hips. If your chair is too high, like with a barstool, you will have a hard time keeping your feet flat on the ground which can tilt the pelvis similar to when seated in a low chair.
With this in mind, if you are suffering from low back pain, there is one simple stretch you can do each day that can help you reduce pressure and help relieve your lower back pain.
While strengthening the core, hamstrings and gluteal muscles will help give you a better foundation, the forward tilt of the head and rounded shoulders puts pressure on the lower back.  This pressure can easily be relived with one simple stretch you should be doing every day.
Start with the Flexistretcher with your hands in the loops or on the nylon straps and raise it above your head. You should be sitting on your correct height office chair and your feet flat on the ground. Next, widen the hands and lower the elbows with the Flexistretcher behind the head to open the chest. This will realign your spine and take pressure off the lower back.
It is a simple stretch you can do each hour if you’re working from home. It will help you sit taller, improve your posture and reduce lower back pain.
Written by, Andrea Metcalf, a celebrity fitness expert specializing in functional fitness including flexibility training. With over three decades of experience in the fitness world, a best-selling book, and more than 500 media appearances, she is a trusted stretch, fitness and wellness expert.