Your boss may be a pain in your neck, but your office chair is the pain in your back. It is no secret that living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to various health issues including severe back pain. Despite this fact, many of us work office jobs, confined to a desk chair and are unsure why our backs ache for days on end.
Sitting at a computer desk for eight hours a day, seven days a week can wreak havoc on our spines. While we cannot always control our work environment, there are steps we can take to minimize spine damage and alleviate back pain throughout our day.
Improve your workspace
First, you want to ensure that whatever elements of your workspace you can control, you do control. That means optimizing your chair settings for comfortable and sustainable posture.
- Adjust the height of your chair by sitting as close to the desk as you comfortably can. Align your upper arms parallel to your sides and place your hands on your keyboard. Your elbows should form a 90-degree angle. If they do not, you need to adjust your seat height accordingly.
- Adjust your armrests so they slightly lift your shoulders, reducing the strain placed on your upper spine. This will also help prevent slouching.
- Adjust the backrest to allow for a comfortable level of lower back support.
- Adjust objects to eye level by sitting at your desk with your eyes closed and slowly opening them. If your screen is not at eye level, either raise or lower your monitor to keep your neck from straining.
Being mindful of proper posture in the workplace is terrific, but that doesn’t fix that you are still remaining seating for a chunk of the day. To further prevent back pain, you need to be active. Try taking breaks from your desk to walk around once an hour. If you notice you are uncomfortable or slouching, stand up from your desk and stretch for a minute.
According to a 2016 study, adults over 20 spend an average of 6.4 hours a day sitting. People who live a sedentary lifestyle, such as office workers, would greatly benefit from participating in daily exercise either before or after work.
Even just 30-45 active minutes a day spent jogging, lifting weights or dancing can help prevent the adverse conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Yoga can be especially helpful in protecting the spine from injury and perfecting posture.
For chronic back pain, trust the holistic approach of Dr. Hooman Melamed. Call (310) 928-2769, or make an appointment online today!