Can My Office Chair Cause Leg Pain?

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Can My Office Chair Cause Leg Pain?

Leg pain while sitting is usually the result of muscular imbalances by your body adapting to a complacent posture for too long.  Throughout my thirty years of practice, I find that the core is usually weak and imbalanced and is the core cause of most aches and pains.

As a general rule, leg pain can also result from prolonged periods of strain and pressure. While sitting, hip flexor muscles shorten, which can cause severe stress on the hips, cause swelling in the legs, and discomfort in the sciatic nerve.  Remember to stand up regularly and stretch your legs. 

Therefore, you have a short, strong muscle facing a longer, weaker one. For example, the chest muscles counterbalance the upper back forces, performing opposite functions – pushing and pulling. 

When sitting for a long time, your shoulders and head may be bent forward, which can cause tight chest muscles and weak upper back muscles. Your hip flexors may shorten and pull the pelvis forward, resulting in back and leg pain.  

Here are a few reasons why you are weak in your core:

Woman before and after lordosis spine

Kyphosis. A person with this type of muscular imbalance might sit or stand with their head tilted forward and their back rounded. 

woman with Kyphosis

Lordosis.  Muscle imbalances are also found in the abs and lower back. Many people have weak abs while the back muscles are stressed during sitting. They then cave in, protruding the stomach. 

Leg imbalances can also result in knee and hip pain. Since many people cross their legs while sitting for long periods, their inner thighs can become overly tight. If the inner thighs become too tight, they can cause rotation of the femur bone (thigh bone), leading to knee pain. Some people, on the other hand, tend to sit with their legs more open, which causes tight outer thighs.

How to Deal With Leg Pain at Work

  • Get up every 20 minutes or so, stretch those sore muscles, or take short walks to relieve aches and pains. Also, try strengthening the weak muscles and releasing the tight muscles. 
  • Ensure that you are sitting in the correct position. The seat should be raised as high as possible while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Select an appropriate seat depth so that your back is firmly held against the backrest and your knees are 2 to 3 fingers away from the edge of the seat. Adjust the forward tilt on your chair to ensure your hips are well above your knees. Your eyes should be level with the screen, not looking down, and you should be sitting straight, not slouching. Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle as you use the mouse.

How to Deal With Leg Pain Outside of the Office

  • Exercises like weight training and stretching can reverse muscular imbalances outside of the office. It’s essential to identify which muscles are short and tight and which ones are stretched out and weak. You can correct a tight chest and weak back by stretching the chest muscles and strengthening the upper back with exercises such as lat pulls, rows, and reverse flies.
  • Stabilising your core with side planks and planks will ease your back pain and tighten your abs. Leg aches and pains usually go away with regular exercise. These exercises are good choices to strengthen your abs.

 

9 Ways Office Chairs Cause Leg Pain:

The most common posture in the world is sitting. The average person spends more than 10 hours per day sitting and does so for more than half of their life. Sitting can be great for your health with a few simple changes that will allow you to sit comfortably while still maintaining good posture. Read on to learn how damaging it can be to sit all day:

Weak Gluteal Muscles

Sitting for long periods of time can cause weakness in your glutes. Sitting causes blood to pool in the veins that run through your lower body and this prevents them from pumping blood up to your heart.

When you stand, these veins are squeezed by gravity, which forces the pooled blood back up towards the heart. When you sit, they stay compressed and don’t work as hard to pump blood upwards. This is why sitting for a long period of time can make it difficult to get up when you want or need to do so!

Low Back Pain

It seems like everyone is talking about how bad sitting is for our backs. The problem with sitting all day is that it leads to a forward head and rounded shoulders, which puts stress on the back muscles and ligaments. It also causes your pelvis to tilt too far forward, which can lead to lower back pain. If you don’t use an ergonomic chair or have poor posture, sitting causes your hip flexors to shorten, and it’ll hurt your back. Poor posture can also lead to compression of your discs, which causes early degeneration that leads to chronic pain.

Shoulders and Neck Pain and Stiffness

It is a common occurrence for office workers to experience neck and shoulder pain when they sit all day. The forward head posture of sitting at the computer can lead to chronic tension in the upper back, shoulders, and neck muscles. This post will cover various ways you can combat this issue by using items that are already available in your home or office.  There are a number of factors that can contribute to shoulder and neck pain and stiffness when you sit while working. These include poor ergonomic workstation setup, inadequate chair height, lack of arm support while typing, etc.

Weight Gain

Working in an office for long hours can cause more weight gain than many people realize. One of the most common reasons is because you are sitting down while working which causes a change in your metabolism. This means that when you sit, your muscles become less active and this changes how calories are burned.

Depression

We often associate depression with sadness. It’s a natural reaction to feeling negative emotions, but it can also manifest as physical symptoms such as fatigue and lack of energy. In recent years, the concept of “sitting disease” has become popularized by experts in the field who believe that prolonged periods of sitting are bad for your health. They say that this causes an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other chronic conditions.

One possible solution is to stand while you work or take quick breaks throughout your day to stretch or walk around. This will help alleviate those feelings of being sluggish and may even lead to better productivity!

The Diabetes Risk

The health risks of sitting for long periods while working are difficult to ignore. Studies have shown that the risk for diabetes rises up to 50% when you sit a lot. This is because prolonged sitting has been linked with increased levels of insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and obesity-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and stroke.

Cancer Risk

Working in an office can come with many hazards. One of the least discussed is the risk of developing cancer from sitting too long. In fact, recent studies have shown that people who sit for more than 3 hours a day are at increased risk for colon and breast cancers.

Cardiovascular Disease

For many people, sitting at a desk for hours is part of their daily routine. For office workers, this is especially true. But what most people don’t know is that those long periods of sitting can lead to health problems like heart disease.  For example, one study found that the overall mortality rate increased by 50%. Sitting down has similar mortality rates to smoking.

Varicose Veins

We spend hours on end sitting in our office chairs, but have you considered how this can affect your body? Sitting for long periods of time can compress and stagnate the veins that bring blood back to the heart. These are called varicose veins.  If you work in an office, chances are you spend a lot of time sitting. And if you’re like most people, your job requires some mental or physical exertion that causes your feet to swell.

Conclusion

It is widely believed that standing up will counteract the negative effects of excessive sitting. Standing in one position for too long isn’t healthy, either. However, the issue involves time spent sitting rather than time spent moving. Any posture in which there is minimal energy expenditure may cause health issues whether standing or sitting.  You may experience back pain, varicose veins, and even worsened symptoms of heart disease or arthritis if you stand too much. However, if you stand at least six hours a day, you reduce your risk of obesity. Ideally, you should balance sitting, standing, and moving. 

 

**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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