We’ve all had those weeks: days stuck in the office, hunched over our computers, with only a few trips to the bathroom or the water-cooler every few hours. Then, when we get home, all we want to do is to sit on the couch and zone out for awhile. As a whole, our culture is dependent on comfortability at work and at play, which means we are often sitting down. But that constant sitting can actually have far-reaching effects on our health and wellness. Without addressing the need to do something about our sedentary lifestyle this can start out with same lingering pain here and there but morph into dramatic differences in our quality of life later on. Here are 3 ways to combat back pain while spending all day in an office.
Start Moving Regularly
After a long day of work, we probably don’t relish the thought of a workout or a yoga class. But breaking out of the cycle of sedentary habits requires determination and planning. Regular exercise throughout the week strengthens and refreshes your body, putting it in the prime condition to deal with whatever the workweek throws at you. Plan ahead and follow through. Your health depends on it.
Quick Tip to Start Moving Today: Don’t put your health off for another day. If you are dreading going to the gym, find a person to go with you to help you stay on track. Don’t have anyone to go with? Schedule a class, be it yoga, kickboxing, or spinning. To make a gym day extra special, download a few of your favorite songs and save them until you make it to the gym.
While we’re on the subject of your workstation, take a moment to assess yours. Measure the proper height and distance for your computer setup for your size and shape. If you are straining to reach your keyboard or to see your computer monitor, an adjustment is definitely needed. If you are sitting at your desk, make sure both feet can reach the floor and that your chair provides lumbar support. Your posture should be straight but relaxed, not tensing your neck or straining your back. At first, these adjustments might feel uncomfortable, but remember that you are building a better core and alignment every day that you sit in your chair, which a Rockville MD back pain doctor can tell you is very important to you overall spinal health.
Take Regular Breaks from Sitting
When we lack proper posture, our spine takes the brunt of the damage. A lack of stability leads to a compromised position of our spine, which then leads to pressure on our lower back. When our bodies try to compensate, what began as irritation can flare up into major low back pain. How can we prevent this? Be aware of your posture and body positioning, even in common activities and at you workplace. Schedule specific times to get up and move; use an app or computer program that provides guided stretching; or consider switching to a standing workstation, if possible.
We know that these tips will get you on the right track to having a healthy, comfortable office space and a proper view of posture and exercise.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Advanced Spine & Wellness Center for their insight into avoiding back pain at the office.