Home // Men’s Health Tips // Get Active // How to Get Rid of Back Pain Simply by Sitting or Standing

How to Get Rid of Back Pain Simply by Sitting or Standing

by | Oct 29, 2020 | Get Active | 1 comment

Reading Time: ( Word Count: )

Man wearing red plaid shirt

Back pain is the best…said no guy ever. With four out of five Canadians suffering from severe back pain at some point in their lives, and with it flaring up most often in guys between the ages of 30 and 50, easy tips for nixing it are sorely needed (pun intended).

So how’s this for easy: send back pain packing by sitting or standing! Back pain and posture are closely linked because the pain tends to stem from doing the same things over and over again at home and at work: lifting heavy boxes, carrying lumber, toiling at a desk, you know the drill. Since nixing these tasks isn’t really an option for hard-working guys like you, another solution involves improving your posture, or how you hold your body. We’ve got your back — pun intended yet again — with these stretches to help your posture and ease back pain:

Picture your posture

Stop what you’re doing for a minute and imagine a straight line passing through your body from ceiling to floor (your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be even and line up vertically).

Now picture a strong cord attached to the top of your head, pulling you upward, making you taller. (Feel free to dunk an imaginary basketball while you’re at it.)

Try to hold your pelvis level — don’t allow your lower back to sway — and resist the urge to stand on tiptoe. Instead, think of stretching your head toward the ceiling, increasing the space between your rib cage and pelvis.

Now, try to maintain this posture throughout your day. Even a few minutes helps, and by turning good posture into a habit, you can make back pain fade away like Michael Jordan’s jump shot.

Stretch it out

These quick and easy stretches will help you have better posture:

Shoulder blade squeeze

Man sitting upright in chair

Step 1: Sit up straight in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs. Keep your shoulders down and your chin level. 

Step 2: Slowly draw your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Step 3: Hold for a count of five; relax.

Step 4: Repeat three or four times.

Upper-body stretch

Man stretching against wall

Step 1: Stand facing a corner with your arms raised, hands flat against the walls, elbows at shoulder height. 

Step 2: Place one foot ahead of the other. 

Step 3: Bending your forward knee, exhale as you lean your body toward the corner. Keep your back straight and your chest and head up. You should feel a nice stretch across your chest. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Relax.

Arm-across-chest stretch

Man stretching out his arm

Step 1: Raise your right arm to shoulder level in front of you and bend the arm at the elbow, keeping the forearm parallel to the floor. 

Step 2: Grasp the right elbow with your left hand and gently pull it across your chest so that you feel a stretch in the upper arm and shoulder on the right side.

Step 3: Hold for 20 seconds; relax both arms.

Step 4: Repeat to the other side.

Step 5: Repeat three times on each side.

Yup, it’s no stretch to say that back pain can be defeated. Now, what to do about these painful puns?

Have you found something else that helps with back pain? Share the scoop with your buds in the comments below!

This blog is part of a 3-part series on health tips to relieve back pain:

If you’re thinking about fitting easy exercise into your day, we’ve got your back.

Download “The 10 Minute Man Workout” ebook right now.

Adam Bisby
Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two who has been covering men’s health for more than 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines such as Explore, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN and Toronto.com. Visit Adam’s website for more information on what he does.

Your Donations Make a Difference

Donate

Your contribution will further men’s health programming, tool development, and research.

Don’t Change Much is a movement inspiring men and their families to lead healthier lives. With reliable information and easy tips, we know every guy and their family can make small changes that will have a big impact on their health.

Let’s Talk!

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    So I think this article has the right idea in terms of encouraging movement, especially if you sit at a desk for the majority of the day, but there are some other things you can do. And if you look into the research, there actually isn’t a hard correlation between posture and back pain, but doing some movements that are in opposition to a sitting position can definitely feel good. The shoulder blade squeeze is ok, but maybe add in chin tuck to this at the same time. The second exercise I don’t understand as it looks like a calf stretch more than anything, so a different chest like a wall angel may be a better option. And the last one to stretch out the back of your shoulder doesn’t seem necessary as usually these muscles hangout on stretch when you’re in a slouched position as it is. Maybe some back extensions or hip flexor work would be more ideal?

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our comments are moderated and are made live after they’ve been reviewed. If you disagree with anything in the article or comments please do let us know, but be polite so we can have a constructive discussion where everyone has the opportunity to learn.

More From

Get Active

Hello sex, goodbye back pain!

What do Charles “Huggy Bear” Huggins, Jack “The Hammer” Szostak, and Frederick “The Fredster” Banting all have in common? Besides being Canadian and having goofy nicknames, which we totally made up, all won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. If it were up to us, a team at...

What Bike Should You Get? Different Types of Bikes Explained

What Bike Should You Get? Different Types of Bikes Explained

So you’ve decided to take advantage of the many benefits of riding a bike. Well played, sir, well played. There’s only one tiny problem: you don’t own a bicycle or yours has collected dust and you’re curious to know if it’s still the right bike for you. We can help...

5 Simple Stretches that Blow Lower Back Pain Away

From an appreciation for things that bounce to a love of explosions — the bigger the better — guys have plenty in common. But millions of Canadian men share something else that’s a lot less fun: lower back pain. Four out of five of us suffer from it at some point in...

Pin It on Pinterest