I am fortunate enough to not be spending a great deal of time sitting at a desk.. Multiple back and posture issues stem from excessive sitting, even with good posture in the chair. When seated, your low back is in constant, low-grade flexion. Continuous or repeated flexion in the lower back will eventually lead to the outer collagen rings of the lumbar discs wearing away. This will then lead to painful conditions such as bulging or herniated discs.
Another issue with continuous sitting is the shortening of your psoas (hip flexor muscle) and the weakening of your gluteals (bum). Your pelvis becomes misaligned and your low back will then be in permanent flexion, even when standing. All of this makes standing upright very difficult and leads to our shoulder rounding forward - your upper back muscles then become weak and overstretched and your chest muscles become very tight. When the shoulders are rounded forward our necks are forced to extend more than usual to look straight ahead - compressing cervical spinal discs.
You can see how one thing will lead to another and it all ends up with tension, pain and immobility.
It is so important for those of you who do a great deal of sitting during the day (at a desk and/or travelling by planes, trains or automobiles) to TAKE A BREAK EVERY 20 - 30 MINUTES. Stand up and, if you can, walk around. The core musculature that supports the lower back shuts down after approximately 20 minutes. Moving around will help reactivate it.
It sounds so simple, but it is very important. Make sure you take the time to do it!!!!
Here are the other important moves for you:
1.. The lunge stretch. Yes, it has the evil word "lunge" in it, but it helps to stretch out your shortened hip flexors and then allow for greater flexibility in the hip joint.
2. Shoulder shrugs. Stand up and try to relax your shoulders. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together by pulling your shoulders back as much as possible followed by shrugging your shoulders halfway up towards your ears. Hold it here for a couple of seconds and then - keeping the shoulder blades together- lower your shoulders down. Then release the squeeze.
3. Stand in front of a door way and bring your arms up as if someone yelled: 'Put your hands up, this is a robbery!!" Then place your hands on either side of the door way and slowly lean forward until you feel a nice stretch in the chest muscle and shoulder.
4. See if you can lift your computer monitor up to eye level so you aren't looking down all the time.
The stretches can be done 2-3 times a day and will greatly improve your posture and your comfort.