Sitting for long term has caused much of the morbidity associated with back pain.
What are the alternatives and how do they stack up?
1. Fit balls:
Pro: good for short term change >30 minutes
Can activate core if person can do this
Con: needs to be sized for the person and then the desk therefore risking further aggravation
No back support leads to slumping and further strain
Not an automated core activation activity person still requires education
2. Standing desks
Pro: takes the flexing out of lumbar spine therefore removing strain
Removes the potential of slumping in spine
Good alternative to sitting especially for previously injured patient, again an alternative to sitting but not an entire replacement
Cons: assumes legs are able to support body weight
Assumes foot function and foot wear is appropriate
Desk has to be set for upper body correct height and ergonomics
3. Saddle chairs
Pro: ant tilt of saddle holds in neutral and reduces slouching
Cons: no back support leads to back muscle fatigue and then strain on passive support structures in the spine
All the alternatives are good short term alternatives during the course of the day. An ideal situation would be a stand up desk used as an alternative option to sitting but used for hourly bursts. Have foot and footwear assessed first.
The other options are still useful. But need more instruction regarding appropriateness for each person and should be used for shorter periods