5 Easy Tips to Prevent Back Pain While WorkingBy Daniel Angelini on August 18, 2021
Finally reaching the end of a long, productive workday is often incredibly rewarding. You’ll have the chance to unwind, destress, enjoy a few beers, or order your favourite comfort food to treat yourself to a job well done. However, if your hectic workdays leave you with chronic back pain, getting any work done at all can be nearly impossible.
While back pain is incredibly common, not everyone experiences the same kind of pain or suffering. Still, those who struggle with back pain have attested to the significant negative impact it has had on their quality of life, making it difficult to perform daily tasks like work or household chores.
Fortunately, you can take some precautions to avoid the dangers of occupational back pain. Here are five easy tips you can take to prevent back pain while working:
If you’re used to slouching, then correcting your posture can sound like an extremely daunting concept. Although it is admittedly difficult to do, it can transform your health in many different ways, like aligning your bones and joints properly, preventing pain, and relieving muscle tension.
To determine if you’re sitting with the right posture, sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Be sure to distribute your weight evenly between your legs. Your back must also be properly aligned. You can even imagine a straight line that connects your ears to your hips. If this feels strange to you, you’ve probably been sitting with bad posture!
Fortunately, you can correct this by using a form of support behind your back, like lumbar support or even a rolled-up towel. You can even set alarms to make sure you’re always aware of your posture!
Like adjusting your posture, be sure to sit as far back as possible in your chair with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle to reduce strain on your back. Your feet must be on the ground or a footrest. You may feel tempted to cross your legs from time to time, especially when your legs are flat on the floor all the time, but this can place undue pressure on your upper body.
While you’re sitting, ensure that your legs are in line or slightly lower than your hips. Feel free to use armrests as well, which reduce some of the strain your upper body endures. However, don’t use them if they make you feel uncomfortable or inconveniences your work.
One of the best ways to reduce back pain while working is to change your desk setup by getting a height adjustable standing desk. Most people don’t realise that most desks usually sit at almost 74 centimetres tall, which is ideal for those within the height range of 1.72 to 1.82 metres. If you’re shorter or taller than that, you’ll likely adjust your chair instead, but that could end up straining your legs.
Instead, opt for a standing desk so that you can adapt to its height and adjust as necessary. It keeps you on your feet, helping you get some movement in even while you’re working. However, be sure to fold your elbows at a 90-degree angle when using a standing desk and stand with the right posture. You can also use an anti-fatigue mat to provide your back and knee with extra cushioning and relief. If standing while working sounds intimidating to you, try alternating between standing and sitting every 20 to 30 minutes. Lastly, be sure to wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be on your feet most of the time!
By now, you probably realise that everything that affects your back has to do with the ergonomics of your setup. Your monitor must be an arm’s length away from you; if it’s too far or too close, be sure to adjust it accordingly. Your eyes must also be in line with the address bar; if not, that’s a sign you’ll need to change your screen position.
Meanwhile, your keyboard must sit one to two inches above your thighs. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case, as most desks are set up for those 1.72 to 1.82 metres tall. Additionally, your keyboard and mouse must be in line with each other. If you have to reach out for either of them, they’re definitely too far.
Staying in one position takes its toll on your muscles, which have likely tensed during the hours you spent working. Take a few minutes every hour or so to stretch, walk around, or both. You can rotate your neck gently to prevent any kinks, shrug and roll your shoulders to ease any tension, and even stretch your hamstrings to get your blood flowing.
However, the best habit to practise is to stand up and walk around for a while. Whether it’s taking a short trip to the pantry to get a snack or buying some coffee, your body will thank you for it. Not only will it increase blood flow and prevent muscle pain, but it will also help with your productivity since you’ll be giving your brain a break from your screen!
Back pain is a common nuisance to those who spend all day at their desks. While you probably have lots of tasks that have you glued to your screen, these tips can help you reduce instances of back pain while easing the tension on your muscles. By steadily practising these habits, you can say goodbye to your back pain and enjoy a much more improved quality of life!
MOVI is the leading provider of adjustable stand up desks in Australia, helping office workers keep active throughout the day without distracting them from their daily tasks. With our desk, you can improve your setup and eliminate back pain in mere seconds, offering you a much more ergonomic way to work. Check out our standing desks today!