Do you suffer from back pain at work? You’re not alone. As more and more people work from home or have alternative work environments we hear this complaint a lot more. Many people experience back pain on the job due to poor posture, incorrect lifting techniques, or spending too much time in one position. How many of you are sitting all day looking at the monitor?
We’ve put together a few tips to help you minimize your aches and pains while working.
1) Take Frequent Breaks
We’re not your boss, but we’re telling you to take more breaks. Sitting in one position for too long can put strain on your back and cause you pain. Getting up and moving around throughout the day is essential. It’s not only good for your back but your overall wellness.
Try to take a break every 30-60 minutes throughout the day, even if it’s just a quick walk around the office or a few stretches. Taking these short breaks will help reduce tension in your back.
2) Use an Ergonomic Chair
Ergonomic chairs are a must-have for any workplace that wants to reduce back pain and promote good posture. They are no longer overly expensive and you can find great options at your local office furniture stores or even online like Amazon. An ergonomic chair helps to support your back and spine, allowing for better circulation and reducing any strain to your back and body. Look for one with adjustable armrests, lumbar support, and a swivel base so that you can customize it to fit your specific needs There are no two bodies that require the same needs. Find one that is a fit for you.
Super tip: Consider getting a footrest if your feet don’t reach the floor while seated.
3) Adjust Your Computer Screen
Making sure your computer screen is at the right height and distance can help reduce back pain. Your computer monitor should be placed directly in front of you and at a comfortable distance, typically 20-30 inches away from your eyes. Your monitor should be slightly below eye level, which is roughly the same height as your natural line of vision. This will help minimize the strain on your neck and upper back. If your computer doesn’t allow you to adjust the monitor height, you can purchase a monitor stand to raise or lower it to the proper height. If you have some books you’re not using you can always use them if you do not have a stand. I once used a box that I had laying around and it did the trick.
You may also need to adjust the tilt of the monitor, which should be angled slightly away from you and facing downwards to reduce glare.
4) Get Up and Move
We already spoke about taking breaks. During these breaks, you should stand up and stretch or take a quick walk. Doing this will also help you stay focused and energized throughout your work day. It’s not only good for your back and neck but good for your mood and energy. Another way to get up and move is to set an alarm for every 45 minutes or hour to remind yourself to stand up and stretch or move around. This can be a simple stretching routine or some light exercise that will help keep your back healthy and strong.
Technology also allows for additional resources, like with the Apple Watch or other activity trackers to monitor your movements throughout the day and make sure that you are getting enough physical activity.
Finally, it’s important to take regular walks during the day. Walking is a great way to strengthen your muscles and reduce stress on your joints. Try to incorporate short walks throughout the day, such as going to lunch, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even walking to a meeting instead of driving. If you can’t get a walk in during the day, after work get stepping!
5) Practice Good Posture
Good posture is key for minimizing back pain in the workplace. When sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor, with your shoulders relaxed and slightly back. Your spine should be aligned with the back of your chair. If necessary, use a pillow or lumbar support to maintain the natural curve of your lower back. Stop into Achieve Health + Wellness and get your hands on our neck bone pillow or advice on other accessories.
When standing, keep your shoulders straight and down, chest out and stomach pulled in. Your weight should be evenly distributed on both feet.
In addition to reducing strain on the back muscles, maintaining good posture will help improve blood circulation and breathing, as well as reduce fatigue.
With a few simple tweaks, you can make a big difference in preventing and managing back pain at work.
Still suffering from back and or neck pain? Contact us and schedule your appointment for us to discuss getting you back on track and pain free.