In our modern jobs, many of us are required to spend long hours sitting at desks, staring at screens, and typing away… Unfortunately, this sedentary lifestyle often leads to one common complaint: back pain! But there’s good news. By making a few adjustments and adopting mindful habits, you can effectively manage and even prevent back pain while working in the office. Here are 5 quick tips you can follow to enjoy a healthier and more pain-free working day.
Maintain good posture
An optimal ergonomic sitting posture can help alleviate and prevent back pain. To sit in a good posture, sit as deep as possible in the chair and keep your feet firmly planted on the ground or a footrest, with your hips slightly higher than your knees. Your shoulders should be in line with your ears rather than being pulled forwards. It’s also crucial to keep in mind the following angles:
- Your elbow angle should be 90-120 degrees.
- Your hip angle should be 90-120 degrees.
- Your knee angle should be 90-130 degrees.
When you’re sitting properly on your chair and receiving support from it, you’ll be able to maintain a neutral spine curvature which minimises the risk of straining your back during your work.
Position your equipment correctly
Making do with a non-ergonomic setup at work is the fastest way to encounter back pain. To avoid poor posture all day, it’s very important to get an adjustable chair that provides proper lumbar support. The chair should be high enough to let your eyes be in line with the top edge of your monitor.
Make sure your keyboard is at a comfortable distance and angle so that you can avoid any slouching forwards to type on it. An easy way to reference where it should be in front of you is to line up the B key with your belly button. The keyboard needs to be at the right height so that your shoulders are in a neutral position. Your mouse should also be placed at the same height as your keyboard, in easy reach to prevent any unnecessary extension of your arm.
Reduce eye strain
In this day and age where 4K and 8K monitors are all the rage, we are at an increased risk of encountering tiny, tiny text. Keep yourself safe from the urge to crane your neck and reach a poor posture by making sure all the text you’re looking at is always at a size that’s easy to read. On your internet browser, the easiest way to adjust the text size is the Ctrl/Cmd + Plus key. Eye strain may also be caused by reflections on the screen or an improper lightning environment in your office. Choose matte monitors for your computer, or use an anti-glare screen protector to reduce these.
Change your posture throughout the day
No matter how optimal your posture is, sitting still for long periods of time can be a major contributor to back pain. Dynamic sitting, which is simply the action of regularly changing how you sit can help make us less sedentary during work hours. Engaging in small movements will help reduce prolonged strain on a particular set of muscles. In addition to this, it can also be very helpful to get up every half hour. Doing simple stretches during breaks such as neck tilts, shoulder rolls, and seated twists can help keep your muscles flexible and relaxed.
Use a footrest
Just like how correct foot position helps us maintain good posture when we’re standing up, foot position is also important to achieve a stable posture while sitting. If your feet are dangling, your pelvis will tilt backwards which will create strain in your lumbar. Doing this for long periods of time will definitely contribute to back pain! So, use a footrest if your feet don’t reach the ground when you’re sitting at your desk.
Taking a few steps like these to keep yourself comfortable and well-supported in the workplace can go a long way to protect you from developing many kinds of injuries, including back pain. That’s why it’s one of the most important investments you can take towards your everyday health. For more advice on how you and your employees can lead a healthier life in the office, you can contact us to receive a free 20-minute workplace presentation.
If your back pain persists or worsens, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our highly talented chiropractors and massage therapists. We have the experience to give you a detailed diagnosis, and personalised care which will effectively resolve your health issue.