Top 10 Tips to Prevent Back Pain at Work
Are you sick and tired of dealing with back pain at work? If so, read on to learn how to prevent back pain at work.
Keyword(s): back pain at work
About 80 percent of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.
For most people, the lower back pain will go away over time and won't present any long-term issues. But for other people, lower back pain can become chronic and make it difficult for them to get around.
Back pain at work is one problem that more and more Americans are being forced to deal with these days. Sitting for long periods of time can cause back pain and lead to chronic back pain if you're not careful.
There are some steps you can take to prevent back pain at work from becoming problematic for you. Check out 10 tips for preventing back pain on the job below.
1. Pick Out an Ergonomic Office Chair for Your Desk
One of the easiest ways to avoid back pain at work is by picking out an ergonomic office chair that will support the curvature of your spine.
A good ergonomic office chair should:
- Be comfortable when you sit down in it
- Give you the ability to adjust the height of it
- Provide lumbar support
- Recline and give you back support in multiple positions
- Swivel to allow you to move around with ease
Far too often, people simply take whatever their employers give them when it comes to office chairs. Speak with your company's human resources department about setting you up with a chair that will help you avoid back pain at work at all costs.
2. Adjust the Height of the Chair So Your Feet Are Always Flat on the Floor
When you're sitting down in your office chair, your feet should always be flat on the floor to keep your spine aligned.
Your feet won't be able to do this if your chair isn't adjustable. You'll also have a hard time keeping your feet flat if you don't take the time to adjust your chair accordingly each and every morning.
3. Avoid Slumping Down in Your Chair When You're Sitting
Once you settle into your chair at the start of the day, you might be tempted to slump down into it. It might feel comfortable at first, but over the course of just an hour or so, slumping will put a strain on your lower back that will likely result in pain.
Try not to slump down when you're sitting. If slumping is the only way you can get comfortable, it's probably a sign that you need to stand up for a little while.
4. Sit Close Enough to Your Desk When Working on Your Computer
The computer that you use at work should be located approximately one arm's length away from you. This will reduce the strain you put on your eyes at work while also limiting the amount of reaching you'll need to do to type on your keyboard.
When you sit close enough to your desk, it'll help your body stay aligned while you're typing.
5. Place Your Computer Monitor at Eye Level to Keep Your Head Up
When working on your computer, your head should be up at all times. This will keep your neck and your back aligned and reduce pain in those areas.
Put your computer monitor in a place where it's approximately three inches above eye level. This will force you to keep your head up in order to see what you're doing on your computer.
6. Remove Any Items From Your Back Pockets Before Sitting Down
A lot of people have gotten into the habit of keeping their wallets and cell phones in their back pockets when they're sitting down.
Outside of being uncomfortable in and of itself, this practice can also put an unnecessary strain on your buttocks and back. Remove your wallet and/or cell phone from your back pocket prior to sitting down at your work desk to reduce the risk of back pain.
7. Take Regular Breaks Throughout the Course of the Work Day
There is some debate over how often people should take a break from sitting and stand up during a workday.
Some studies have suggested that a brief standing break every few hours should do the trick, while others have found that people should be standing up at least every 30 minutes.
Try to stand up and walk around for a minute or two once every hour, if at all possible. This will get the blood flowing throughout your body and allow you to stretch your muscles before getting back to work.
8. Establish a Stretching Routine and Practice Using It Often
Speaking of stretching, it's a good idea to stretch your back out every few hours if you can.
Learn some lower back stretches that you can do right at your desk and put them to good use. They'll allow you to prevent your back muscles from getting too tight.
9. Pay Attention to Your Posture When You're Standing
While standing throughout the workday is great, it's not going to do you much good if your posture is bad.
When standing, work on putting an equal amount of weight on both your feet. Additionally, avoid slouching and stand straight up with your shoulders back and your chest out.
This will make you look more confident at work while also working wonders for your entire body.
10. Lift Heavy Boxes and Other Items the Right Way
If you have a job that requires you to lift heavy boxes and other items on a regular basis, make sure you're lifting them properly.
Bend at the knees and steer clear of using your back to do any part of the lifting. And if something is too heavy for you, don't be afraid to ask for assistance or bring in equipment that can help you lift the item easily.
Stop Back Pain at Work From Slowing You Down
There are millions of Americans suffering from back pain at work every day simply because they're not sitting properly or standing enough.
Change the way you sit and stand at work, and you can avoid dealing with back pain day in and day out. These tips should allow you to stay comfortable at work without putting your neck and back at risk.
Obtain our chiropractic care services if you can't seem to shake back pain at work no matter how hard you try.