The chair does not have to be electric to kill you.

Tired of sitting? Whether in the car taking Junior to college or getting back to the desk at school, many of us are sitting way too much right now. And our bodies are starting to rebel with everything from general aches and pains to sciatica and even herniated discs.

That pain in your back is not just your boss or your stress, it is caused by slouching. As you slouch forward to get closer to the computer screen or to that traffic jam, the spine starts to round.

Prolonged time in this unnatural position will start to push your discs outward (this is what your chiropractor is talking about when she says herniated disc, ruptured disc, or slipped disc) causing pressure on the nerves and pain. Your grandfather was right, you should sit up straight.

Here are a couple things you can do to prevent the back pain caused by sitting too much:

Keep Moving: Use an exercise ball or a stand up desk; stretch often; take many water breaks.

Use Proper Ergonomics: Make sure your desk and car seat work with your body to maintain the natural curves in your low back and cervical spine (your neck). Check out Fit Sugar’s ergonomics chart.

Sit Mindfully: Keep the natural curve in your low back by scooting back in your chair and lengthening your spine. Keep your head balanced over your heart; keep your heart balanced over your hips. Pilates is the very best way I have found to bring this kind of mindfulness to everyday movement. It’s all about body awareness, balance and alignment. I use Pilates concepts at my desk, at Yoga practice, while kayaking, in the shower, as I get in and out of the car…

Stay Strong: Your muscles can and will keep your body pain free if you keep them in good working order. The new Fitness Classes at All Wellness are designed to do exactly that. Check out Power Pilates, Power Vinyasa Yoga and Zumba. Your muscles will get the workout they deserve and will gain the strength they need to support your spine as you sit or move through your day and your life.

image credit: desertcraftsmen.com