"I need to do walking exercise for my lower back. Does walking at work count?"
I usually recommend daily walking to my patients to help them with their lower back pain and its related conditions. When I do, they tell me they walk all the time at work.
Upon further questioning, I learn that they are on their feet a lot and during the work day they walk back and forth or from one point to another. The distance covered at any one time is at the most one hundred yards. Is doing this type of walking throughout the day the same as a long brisk walk?
If your job is walking the forest 3 to 5 times a week for at least an hour non-stop painting boundary lines than yes that counts. If your job requires you to walk an hour a day... non-stop... four or five days a week, and you walk at a brisk pace, then that should meet your daily walking recommendations.
If your job requires you to walk:
...at least one hour per day...
...four or five times each week...
...at a brisk pace...
then that should meet your daily walking recommendations.
The key is "regular, non-stop, brisk" walking. Walking back and forth in a factory building or walking short bouts delivering mail is not the same as walking one hour non-stop briskly.
Your goal should be to walk non-stop briskly for one hour each day, taking long strides, swinging your arms, and elevating your heart rate and respiration. This type of walking increases the fluid exchange of the discs, improves circulation to muscles, tendons and ligaments, and aids in cellular respiration.
All of this builds and improves your over-all health and well-being, including that of your lower back.
Does walking less than one hour help at all?
Of course it does.
If your schedule only permits 30 minutes of walking then walk 30 minutes one or more times a day. After sitting all day in a delivery truck or behind a desk, or standing at a cash register or behind a bank counter any amount of walking will be beneficial.
But when it comes to walking exercise to improve your lower back nothing beats a 4 mile (one hour), brisk, non-stop walk.
Make sure you wear great walking shoes and ensure you have proper foot structure, support and balance.