Whether you’ve been working remotely or you’re back in the office, working at a desk (or even worse, your couch) can wreak havoc on your back.
Why do I have back pain from my desk job?
This kind of pain can happen because of a couple of reasons.
If you stay seated at your computer for eight hours a day, without breaking to stand or stretch – or ideally, go for a short walk – then your vertebral discs compress, which can cause spinal disc bulging and pain.
Another reason you may experience back pain from your desk job is improper posture. If you find that you slouch over your keyboard, or even sit with your legs up on your chair, you could be at risk for developing long term damage to your spinal cord, muscles and vertebral discs.
Tips for avoiding back pain at work
This kind of pain will not just rectify itself, especially if you continue the behaviors that cause it in the first place. Now, most of us can’t just decide not to work – so instead, we must relearn healthier workplace behaviors to protect our back and spine. Below are some of the top tips you should consider when working at a desk – whether in pain, or not.
High quality, ergonomic furniture
There are decisions to make when choosing your office furniture – but one very important question you should be asking yourself when selecting your desk and chair is whether it’s ergonomic.
An ergonomic desk chair can help prevent your spine pain by supporting the natural curve of your spine, while reaching high enough to help support your entire back – limiting the risk of improper posture.
Taking breaks to stretch or go for short walks
Not only is a short walk beneficial for your back to give your spine an opportunity to naturally decompress, but it’s also fantastic for your mental health and focus. In fact, a new study suggests that five-minute walks throughout the workday can lift moods, reduce lethargy and improve overall health, reports the New York Times.
Avoid sitting all day
If at all possible, we recommend investing in an adjustable desk in your home office, or requesting one in your office. This can allow you to stand during the work day for short periods of time, once again allowing your spine to naturally decompress. In addition to this, there are walking desks that allow you to stand and go for short, slow walks while working.
If you opt for this route, keep in mind that your monitor should be at eye level to avoid strain on your neck.
These options are fantastic to prevent or get ahead of pain, and can prevent long term damage from taking place. If, however, you’re experiencing chronic low back pain, reach out to our team to discuss a treatment plan today.