So I mostly have to sit at a desk for 13 hours a day, even on weekends (I'm an 18 year old student who is a bit over weight too) because of which I have severe back problems. I want to change this and want to decrease my weight.

Here for back pain someone recommended me that if I do exercises like jogging or skipping rope my back ache might increase and get worse, but I actually jump rope regularly.

What exercises can I do to decrease weight which don't put any extra pressure on my back or cause it any harm?

  • I agree with motosubatsu's answer that running and jumping rope may make your back pain worse; so as a weight loss tactic, you may want to focus on lower calorie intake than on exercise.
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


First things first (and I cannot stress this enough) is you need to get your back pain evaluated - there can be many different causes for it and if there is an underlying medical issue you risk further damage. Speak to an appropriate medical professional - doctor or physiotherapist before undertaking any new fitness regime.

If you get the OK from the medical people I would recommend swimming - the body's natural buoyancy means that you are going to be supported, and there's no impact on the joints such as you'll get with running or jumping rope.

Breaststroke is a good starting point for someone with lower back pain - there's minimal trunk rotation and it's a good core workout. Backstroke is another one worth considering if you are confident with it - you have almost no risk of hyper-extending the spine in a backstroke.

It's also key to address the causes of your lower back pain - if you need to study for 13 hours a day you need to address the ergonomics of how you are studying. If you're hunched over a desk/table for thirteen hours straight your back and shoulders are going to hurt!

Ensure that you are sitting in a good posture, take frequent breaks to move around, try to ensure that your exercise includes flexibility work. It doesn't have to take long or require any special equipment - you can even do a seated Yoga Cat-Cow Pose at your desk/workspace!

Source(s): Swimming good for back pain, Breaststroke benefits, and personal experience - my lower back and shoulders have been problem areas for decades but daily swimming (breaststroke) and yoga has made a huge difference.

  • Fantastic answer! Welcome to Physical Fitness.SE!! Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 20:00

In supplement to motobatsu's excellent answer:

  • absolutely do not go off internet advice alone - take it as pointers, sure, but see a competent and suitably qualified medical professional
  • a physiotherapist will have useful input on the types of exercise and recommended movements you should undertake to address both your back pain and weight loss concerns
  • your physio should be able to give you a set of simple exercises to improve flexibility - make time to do them as often as advised, getting out of your chair and to a part of the office where you can move easily but still use something for support if required
  • seek exercise activities with minimal skeletal impact; swimming (not all strokes; seek advice), rowing (you must use the correct technique; seek advice) and cycling (your cycle needs to be properly set up, supportive and terrain smooth; seek advice) are good bets, as are gym machines such as cross trainers, stair climbers and weight machines
  • posture is key to good back health; seek advice on posture, consider buying (asking your company to buy) a rise and fall desk so you can work standing or sitting and vary between the two during the day
  • consider having multiple chairs available at your desk and swap and change between them regularly during the day. Sitting on a wobble cushion may also help - I found that keeping my back moving slightly prevented the fatigue in the muscles and ligaments that left me in pain
  • assess whether you need to replace your bed mattress with one that can support your weight suitably
  • similarly, examine your footwear and clothing; are you wearing the same worn out pair of sneakers you've had for 3 years? Do your clothes fit well without digging in? Do they allow you to sit comfortably and bend?, are they light weight? New shoes in various styles will alter the stresses on your legs and skeleton compared to old footwear; comfortable clothes that don't weigh you down will help you move more naturally. A key aspect of recuperating is reducing the repetitive strain on this same area of your body; take any steps necessary to help alleviate it
  • see if changing your working routine so you work on Saturday and have Wednesday off, for example, so that you haven't got a 5 day contiguous block of sitting at a desk. On your day off, keep moving

  • expect it to take a really really long time to get better

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