Sitting at a desk for hours each day can have a big effect upon your back. If you have been feeling back pain, you may be shrugging it off as a part of working at a desk, but there are things that you can do that will help to decrease your pain. It can be as simple as changing the height of your desk or chair, or it can mean that you need to make changes in how you work. Either way, by making a few simple changes, you may be able to give your back the support it needs to be pain free and feel great when you get up to enjoy life.
Make Some Adjustments
Adjusting your chair or your desk can make a difference in how your back feels. You want to adjust your chair to where your knees are slightly lower than your hips and the weight of your thighs is focuses in the feet, rather than on the seat of the chair. Be sure you sit as close to your desk as possible, with your computer screen or other work materials at eye level. Armrests should support your elbows at a 90-degree angle with your shoulders relaxed and the backrest should give some support/pressure in the lower back area.
Consider Your Chair
Is your chair comfortable? Does if offer your back support, especially in the lower back area? Do the armrests fit you comfortably? Is it adjustable? All of these considerations are what you want to think about when you are looking at a new office chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor and the end of the chair should be right at the back of your knees to be sure that you do not have leg issues. If the support is not what you need, you can always add an orthopedic support to it.
Take a Break
While you may feel as if you need to be working for eight hours at a time, taking a few minutes to get up and walk around, you can help your back to recover. A break every couple of hours is essential to refresh your body, as well as your mind, to allow you to work more efficiently. Stretching for a minute or so every half-hour can help as well. Simply put your hands over your head and stretch toward the ceiling to elongate the spine and help it to stay in proper alignment.
Sit Up Straight
How many times has your mom or grandma told you to sit up straight? This is so important to do, not only to make yourself look more self-confident and taller, but also to allow the spine to be stretched and aligned. This is even more important when you are sitting in a chair all day, because slouching can be a bad habit that will make your back hurt and become stiff.
Be Open to New Ideas
Some people sit on an exercise or balance ball instead of a typical office chair. This aligns the spine and can take some of the pressure off the spine. It is impossible to slouch on a balance ball. In addition, regular use of a balance ball will help to strengthen your core. This can be a great idea to try if you are having issues with back pain when you are working.
Ergonomic chairs are another consideration. These may be more expensive, but they are made to keep your body in the best position possible to relieve pressure and stress on the spine. If nothing else seems to work for you, this can be an option to consider.
Making sure that your back is supported is important no matter how many hours that you spend in your chair each day. By following the above tips, you can give your back a rest to ensure that it is up for whatever that you want to do after work.