Hunching over a computer is one of the main reasons that four out of five women, in particular, end up with back pain at some point in their lives.
Work-related back pain is often a sign that either your environment or your posture and movements should change. Age, desk setup, stress load and the type of manual tasks you engage in all play a huge role in your back health. Here are some exercises/stretches to help ease your back pain and steps you can take to improve your setup to protect your back at work.
Exercises/Stretches to help ease your back pain at work
- Straighten up
Standing tall, feet together, align your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
Pull your belly button in towards your spine.
- Twist and sway
Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart and gently rotate your core from side to side.
Let your arms flop loosely and shift your weight from knee to knee, breathing calmly for 15 seconds.
- Shake it out
Shake limbs loosely for 15 seconds on each side.
Protect your back at work
Here are some ways to reduce the risk of back and neck pain:
- Sit within reach
Your torso should be about an arm’s length away from the monitor, which should be 2 to 3 inches above eye level.
- Pick the right chair
Pick an adjustable chair that allows your lower back to rest against a lumbar support. Then tilt the back of the chair so it’s very slightly reclined.
- Keep your mouse close
Ideally, it should be placed right next to your keyboard, so you don’t overreach or twist your shoulder, arm, or wrist when clicking.
- Take breaks
Getting up at least once an hour—to go to the bathroom or just do some shoulder rolls—reduces pressure on spinal disks and boosts circulation.
If you do experience pain, consult a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor, to assess your specific needs and identify a course of action that’s right for you. Chiropractors are committed to helping you be more physically active. A chiropractor can evaluate your strength and flexibility, as well as screen for anything that may limit your physical activities. Ask your chiropractor for an evaluation.