Don’t stand for sitting—your back will thank you

Personal trainer says low back pain common among office workers

By Jamie Hall

Shara Vigeant doesn’t stand for sitting, something she attributes to the rise in the number of clients she sees with back pain.

“Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is becoming more and more common,” says Vigeant, who owns and operates SVPT Fitness and Athletics in Edmonton. “Especially with people who have office jobs. If a client comes in who’s been sitting at a desk all day, there’s a 90 per cent chance she’s going to tell me she’s experiencing some kind of back pain.

"And I’m going to tell her she has to start moving, and keep moving.”

Shara Vigeant

Personal trainer and business owner Shara Vigeant has been a fixture in Edmonton’s fitness community for a decade.

Core strength key

Vigeant has been a fixture in Edmonton’s fitness community for a decade now, and was recently honored by Global Edmonton as a Woman of Vision for her outstanding accomplishments in the industry. She also serves as the strength and conditioning coach for a number of high-performance athletes, including several MMA fighters, and six-time world boxing champion Jelena Mrdjenovich.

The vast majority of the clients she and her seven staff members train are not elite athletes at all, but rather “everyday people” who want to move better, feel better, and enjoy a better quality of life.

A lot of them spend their work days sitting at a desk, which often results in varying degrees of back pain.

“Not only does sitting at a desk do nothing to improve posture,” says Vigeant, “it creates a weak core and tight hips. What we try to do is increase core strength and stability, and increase the mobility of the hips.”


“If a client comes in who’s been sitting at a desk all day, there’s a 90 per cent chance she’s going to tell me she’s experiencing some kind of back pain.”


Sit less, move more

The key is to sit less, and move more.  It’s the little things, done well and done consistently, that will improve the health—and strength—of your back.

“I got a text from a client the other day who said he was able to go skiing with his kids for the first time in five years because he didn’t have back pain,” says Vigeant. “And I thought—bam!—this is why I do what I do, and why I love getting up every morning.”

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