Couch Potato

With the recent cold snap and further cold weather forecast in the coming weeks, it will be tempting to stay in the warm and relax in front of the television for hours on end. However, with 36% of Brits saying that their back pain is triggered by sitting still for long periods of time aka being a couch potato, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) offers the following advice on how “couch potatoes” can keep their backs healthy:

Vary your seating position – you should alternate sitting on the sofa to sitting on the floor with your back rested firmly against the base of the sofa to keep your posture upright.

It is a good idea to have a range of chairs in the living room rather than always choosing to sit on the sofa.  Sturdier chairs will allow you to sit with your hips higher to support your lower back, which is not possible when sitting on most sofas.

30 Minute rule!

It is important to ensure you get up at regular intervals (at least every 30 minutes) to change position and walk around the house to stretch your muscles.


Allow yourself to move while you are still seated and not stay completely stationary, for example, roll your shoulders forward and backwards to loosen your muscles.

The British Chiropractic Association has launched Straighten Up UK, a three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture.  Easy to learn and do, the sequence of exercises consists of precise, slow stretches, each with a specific purpose.  This exercise can be carried out during television advertising breaks and is most effective when performed daily.

Tim Hutchful, registered British Chiropractic Association chiropractor comments:

“During the winter, people tend to avoid venturing out into the cold unless they absolutely have to so they resort to staying at home, curled up in front of the television.  Sitting in the same position for prolonged periods of time puts almost twice as much pressure on the back than when standing.  Sofas are unlikely to offer much support for the back which can affect people’s posture in the long term.  Practising Straighten Up UK is a great way for people to keep their backs healthy without having to leave the house.”