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Sitting isn’t to blame for back pain, study finds

A huge new study has found that prolonged sitting does not cause back pain.

The Deakin University study looked at more than 40 causes for back pain, and found that sitting is not a risk factor.

Associate Professor Daniel Belavy, who led the study, said there is no relationship between sitting and back pain.

“For the average Joe or Jill who works in an office, and otherwise doesn’t have any particular problems with their back, sitting itself is not a huge risk factor for getting back pain,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

For many people who experience back pain after sitting, it’s not the act of sitting that is the problem.

“You will find that if you sit for a while some people will get some sore muscles in their neck or in their back,” Associate Professor Belavy said.

“That’s more often about the set up of their work space, but in terms of what might cause someone to hurt their back, sitting itself is not a problem.”

However, people with back injuries may find that prolonged sitting increases their pain.

“For someone who has already got back problems then breaking that sitting up can be important,” Associate Professor Belavy said.

But it’s not good news for all workers.

Heavy physical work and lifting are associated with increased risk of back pain.

“There are some professions which are known to be more of a problem for back pain. For example, nurses have a much higher risk of getting back pain,” Associate Professor Belavy said.

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