Don’t let your job cost you!
Marathons and sports can all be obvious sources of injuries. With the constant movement and exertion of your muscles, it’s not a wonder that people run into injuries. But what about those times where you find yourself dealing with pain and you can’t figure out what caused it?
Let’s paint a picture:
You wake up, well rested and make the effort to look after yourself as much as possible. You make sure you fit exercise into your week, sometimes early in the morning before work, sometimes after. Most weeks you manage to workout at least every other day. You’re an active person, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator and yet… you find yourself dealing with back pain at work.
Sound familiar? There are many things that could cause back pain, for example, a past accident or more serious conditions of the spine. However, one of the most common causes, and frequently overlooked causes of back pain is office work. Many people get their work done by sitting at a desk, eight hours a day, hunching and slouching over their computers, with minimal breaks to stand up and give your back a rest.
The tools we use in an office and how we interact with them can all contribute to increased pressure on the back that can eventually lead to back pain, stiffness and soreness. These things include seating posture, chair height, computer screen position, keyboard and mouse position and the layout of the furniture. If these items are not set up an ergonomic fashion, weight can be poorly distributed among the discs in your spine and leading to extra strain on your discs, joints, ligaments and muscles.
Here are our top five, simple ways to avoid back pain in the office:
- Learn how to adjust your chair to provide adequate back support. Many people think they need a new chair, but most people just don’t sit in them well
- Always lean and rest against a fixed chair back while performing keyboard motions
- Keep your head up and avoid straining forward by keeping everything you need within reach and easy sight lines
- Plant your feet on the floor and avoid crossing your legs. A foot stool may help.
- Most importantly, MOVE! Take every opportunity to stand up and stretch. Sitting for long periods of time, even within an ergonomic environment, will increase strain on your spine and back muscles.
Building good work habits are a great way to avoid back pain at the office. Eat well and maintain an active lifestyle when you are out of the office and you will have a strong chance of avoiding or minimizing pack pain. If you feel you’re dong all the right things and still feel that soreness, give us a shout and we’ll be glad to help you heal!
(Credit to Little Goblins Press for this blog post)