Sitting at work for long periods of time can cause several back and posture issues that can get worse with time. By remaining in a static position for more than half an hour for instance, you place stress on your lower back, arms, shoulders, and spine. However, by aligning yourself for better health at the office, you can prevent those health risks from occurring.
The pressure on your spine increases if your posture is bad. It can also lead to headaches, premature fatigue, soreness, and stress in addition to radiating back pain. In fact, it can also affect digestion, breathing, ligaments, and joints in the long run.
If you have poor posture, it means your back muscles are working overtime to hold you up. In other words, you are exerting more energy than necessary which doesn’t leave you with much to work with. It also tightens up the muscles in the back, arms, and legs which can turn into arthritis with time.
How to Prevent Back Pain at Work
One of the main causes of back pain at work is insufficient support of the lower back. The best way to prevent this is to:
Use a Pillow
In case the chair you have at work doesn’t provide this support, you can still prevent back pain. Consider putting a pillow between your lower back and chair. This way, you will not slouch and spend a comfortable work day every day. A footrest will support your back even more.
Adjust Chair Height
By adjusting your chair to the proper height, you can also reduce the strain on your back and relieve discomfort. Adjust the height of your chair so that you are able to type with your forearms and wrists parallel to the floor. Your elbows should form an L shape at the joint. That way, you will know that the height you adjusted your chair to is correct.
Keep Feet Flat on the Ground
Your feet should not dangle off the edge off the chair when you sit. The weight of your legs will otherwise place stress on the lower back and pull you downwards. Fix the height of your chair in such a way that your feet are flat on the ground as you work. This will keep your posture neutral and prevent discomfort.
If your feet still dangle off the chair, consider using a footrest. This will elevate your feet at a comfortable angle. Just make sure that it keeps the knees parallel to the ground.
Take Regular Breaks
One of the best ways to prevent a sedentary work life is to take regular breaks. Just by getting up and moving around for a few minutes, you can release pent-up tension in your back and leg muscles. Do this after every half an hour or so. Doing stretches while you are on your break will also help ease the tension in your back muscles.
Some of the stretches you can do to prevent discomfort are quite simple and easy. For example, you can squeeze your shoulder blades together to try and make them touch. Hold that position for 5 seconds, and then release.
Similarly, doing simple crunches and push-ups at work will strengthen your core and your back at the same time. The benefits you will get from these will keep you pain free for a productive work day.
Adjust Monitor Height
You shouldn’t have to look down when you are working on a computer. The screen should be at eye level so that you don’t have to bend or lift your head to look at it. Either of these positions can place stress on your neck muscles which, in turn, will add stress to your back and spine.
Adjust the height of your monitor so that it is at eye level. Place support under it if you have to so that you can look straight ahead as you work.
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