If you are like the millions of employed Canadians who spend their days glued to a computer or laptop, then we don’t really have to tell you about lower back pain from sitting at your desk. You know what it is and what it feels like. You may think it just goes with the territory of working in today’s technological age. Computers are not going anywhere and we are more reliant on them than ever before. They are supposed to make our work processes more efficient and allow us to accomplish more, but when your lower back hurts, productivity does as well. Don’t give up. There are some tips to ease lower back pain from sitting at your desk, and we will list some for you here.
One of the main reasons our back hurts from sitting at our desk all day is because we are sitting at our desk all day. It is the same reason why our eyes become fatigued, lose focus and we develop headaches from looking at laptops, computers and hand held devices for too long a period of time. Digital eye strain is a similar consequence of doing an activity for a prolonged period of time. Sitting for too long a period of time can cause low back pain or worsen existing pain.
- The solution can be as simple as taking regular breaks. Get up from your desk, walk around, get a bottle of water, stretch and then return to your activity. If your company allows it, you might even consider getting a stand-up desk set up. They are relatively inexpensive, are portable and offer an occasional change of position without interrupting your work day.
Another cause of our back pain is the way we are sitting. Mom always taught us to sit up straight, and for the most part that is still correct. If you slouch or lean forward to your computer, you are causing undo pressure on your spine and shoulders. Your abdominal muscles help protect your spine so slouching forward weakens those muscles and can create a situation which leads to discomfort and even injury. Poor posture significantly adds to lower back pain.
- The solution here is to keep your back against the chair, shoulders back, feet flat on the floor, with the monitor approximately at arm’s length. Keep your hips up against the back of the chair. There are some who say slightly reclining your chair’s back is helpful too.
Sometimes our work station set-up is the culprit. Do you have an adjustable chair? This seems to ease lower back pain while sitting at your desk. The chair’s arms, back and even the height should all be adjustable and it should include lumbar support for your back. If your chair does not have lumbar support, use a cushion, pillow or rolled towel as a substitute.
- Your monitor should be at eye height, your thighs should be level to the floor and your elbows should be a ninety degree angle when resting your hands on the work surface. Then adjust your chair height up or down. It is also helpful to have your arms slightly lift your shoulders which will make you less likely to slough forward. The most important take away here is for you to be comfortable. Make adjustments until you are.
Move your seat closer to your desk so you won’t be tempted to slouch or lean forward. If you are working with a monitor, place a book or other sturdy object under it so it will be at the right height.
The latest technology was designed to help us be more productive at work. Unfortunately, many of us are distracted by lower back pain throughout our day, so it simply defeats the objective. You can improve your efficiency at work by following some of these tips and scheduling a free consultation at Back On Track Wellness. No one should have to live with lower back pain.
Always determine your most comfortable position using some of the tips and guidelines here. Remember that a static position will increase stress on the back, shoulders, arms and legs. All this can add pressure to your back muscles and spinal discs causing pain.
If you have any questions about how to ease your lower back pain contact us at Back on Track Wellness to schedule an evaluation.