A short software developer's guide to conquering back pain

Do you often experience back pain, especially after sitting for long hours to code? This short guide can help you reduce this unwanted pain.

A short software developer's guide to conquering back pain


As software developers, either fixing bugs, customising ERP systems or coding, we spend several hours everyday sitting and staring at our screens. We therefore experience what's commonly known as low back pain.

"Sitting is the new smoking."

If you wonder where this pain origins, the culprit is none other than sitting - unless you have other problems such as slipped disks. I am no expert in this matter, but from my experience, encounters with rehabilitation doctors and researching online - when you sit for long consecutive hours, your lower back is strained. At the same time, your hip flexors, a group of muscles near your hip, is overworked while your glutes are weakened as they are not in use.

From https://www.yogajournal.com/teach/yoga-anatomy-get-to-know-your-glutes

Your glutes is a set of muscles that helps you project your thighs forward, move your legs to the side and many other day to day movements such as lifting things. However, most people use their back directly, which puts unnecessary pressure.

Personal Experience

Lady running in a park in London
Photo by Arek Adeoye / Unsplash

During my years at University, I was highly active, walking and/or running almost everyday. I barely had any back pain. But I felt my lower back in general was not strong and the more I ran, the slimmer I became.

Once I started working professionally, within a few weeks, I began experiencing lower back pain. I thought it was normal. A few months later, I began lifting weights and doing crunches at the nearby gym, feeling much better overall. I however ignored all round core exercises targeting abs and glutes. I therefore still felt back pain to an extent.

Throughout the whole time and even to this day, the common denominator is sitting down for several hours per day. I tried changing a lot of variables except this one - as I am expected to sit down and code. My employers think I am productive by sitting and staring the screen the whole day.

Other employees tackle this issue by having standing desk, which I think is a brilliant idea.

I nonetheless decreased my chronic back pain by changing my lifestyle and avoiding medications.

How I improved my situation?

instagram @good.citizen
Photo by Humphrey Muleba / Unsplash
  • stretch my hip flexors that are strained when sitting too much; I usually do Cobra Stretch
  • strengthen abs and glutes by doing exercises such as plank, crunches and inverted leg raises
  • avoid sitting down the whole, take regular breaks throughout the day
  • not lifting heavy objects unless there is a crucial reason behind
  • squat instead of bending over to lift stuff
  • practice correct posture exercises (correction posture)
  • try getting at least six thousands steps everyday

Check out this video by Jeff Caveliere, the founder of Athlean X for better details.

Weak Glutes - Back Pain


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