You have to move?

The Dutch are champion sitters. There is probably no other people in the world that on average sit as much as we are. Is it because we have a large service sector? By the progressiveness with the internet? The high density of mobile phones (1.2 per person in 2016)? The amount of cars (8 million in 2016 on a population of 17 million)? I do not know. The consequence is that due to the large amount of sitting there is less movement. It is recommended to move for at least 30 minutes per day. Why? And what is needed for that?



With moving the body is stimulated to preservation. The body can even become stronger and faster and get more stamina by training with a sophisticated schedule. In contrast, if the body is not used, then these properties will deteriorate. The tissues decline in quality as well as the recovery capacity after damage. The resistance decreases and the sensitivity to complaints and various illnesses increases. This degeneration process is already measurable within 24 hours of inactivity, such as with bedridden flu: muscles shrink and the calcium content in bone decreases.


That is not all. There is a close relationship between physical and mental fitness. With movement we (our brains) become more active and more alert. Creativity and problem-solving capacity are improving. Our brains are moving literally and figuratively! People who move are physically and mentally fitter and remain so in later life.


The effect of exercise at low back pain

If it shoots in the back then a number of people have a tendency not to move anymore so that the pain is not provoked. For a short period of time, say 2 days, that can certainly be effective. But if it will take longer, the above-mentioned deterioration will play an increasing role. Due to deterioration of the back, the vulnerability increases and the risk of overuse with repeated or new complaints. That is a good reason to become active again as soon as possible. Another good reason: by moving the blood continues to flow through the back and takes away waste products and inflammation remnants that can also cause the symptoms and supplies nutrients. A natural painkiller. In addition, it is important to restore the original coordination and movements of the back as quickly as possible so that the chance of permanently adjusting the movement behavior (= less efficient, means more risk of complaints) remains small.


How then to move?

If you want to comply with the 30-minute standard, consider the following:
- every form of exercise is good: for example walking, cycling, swimming, dancing
- choose what you like to do, you keep it the best
- intensity: you have to breathe properly, but make sure you can have another conversation.

When is the condition sufficient: if you only need a short time to recover (measure the heart rate).


Gordon R, Bloxham S. A systematic review of the effects of exercise and physical activity on non-specific chronic low back pain. Healthcare (Basel). 2016 Jun; 4(2): 22.