Back Pain is surprisingly common and is not just in the realm of the elderly or people who have suffered injury, pain or medical conditions such as a slipped disc. For those of us who have sedentary office jobs (or indeed any job where we sit for long periods) back pain is a very real problem. Many of us don’t give much regard as to how to prevent back pain, ignore it or dismiss it as just something we have to put up with. Maybe it doesn’t feel too bad and once you get home or have wondered around for a while the dull ache or soreness disappears. That is all very well and good but, if you do nothing to prevent back pain whilst you’re young, fit and healthy, you might well be storing up problems for later years. To minimise the risk of developing a chronic condition here’s 7 Tips to Prevent Office Back Pain:
1. Unrelenting and Unceasing
One of the biggest causes of office back pain is sitting in the same position for a long period of time. Remember all those times your mother and teachers told you to sit up straight? Well it all had a purpose. Posture is very important if you want to prevent back pain and particularly if you are tied to your desk for hours on end. Make sure you have a decent chair with an adjustable back seat and height. Also changing your position regularly can help prevent back pain.
2. Sit Back and Relax
When seated at your desk, sit back leaning your shoulder blades against the back of your chair and make sure the rest of your body fit the contours of the office chair perfectly. This will prevent back pain because your muscles won’t be tense all day as you work.
3. Eyes to the Front
In the days of laptops this one might be difficult to achieve but your eyes should be level with your computer screen. This will reduce strain on the back neck muscles and the strain on your back. To be ergonomically efficient you really should have a separate monitor.
4. Hips up!
When sitting on your office chair you should make sure your knees are lower than your hips and that your feet are flat on the floor. Foot rests really shouldn’t be required if your desk and chair are the correct height. The diagram on homeworking.com shows you the ideal sitting position to prevent back pain.
Leave your chair for a short walk as often as you can manage it. Ideally, you should aim to leave your computer/desk chair roughly every 40 minutes. Manufacturer reasons to get up from your chair. For example, don’t fill a water bottle but visit the water cooler to collect a fresh drink every half hour or so.
To prevent back pain you should make sure that your arms can lay flat on your arm rests or on the desk. This is also important for reducing the risk of RSI. It may seem like a pointless exercise but remember that your spinal cord, and by implication your back, is connected to and controls your limbs.
If you can get a spare few minutes and you don’t mind looking a tad silly then try stretching every few hours. This can do wonders for your back as it can help those tense muscles relax; however if you can’t manage any stretching during work then try and do it either before or after work.
To prevent back pain you have to make sure that the whole of your body is geared towards good posture, sitting correctly and having full support when in the seated position. Follow these Tips to Prevent Back Pain and you should reduce the risk of back problems as you age. Have you ever experienced back pain whilst at work and do you have a health and safety advisor you can talk to about the set up of your work station?
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