Prevent Back Pain at Your Desk Job

my deskWe are pretty sure you didn’t see anything in the job description about chronic back pain when you applied for your desk job. However, majority of people with desk jobs develop just that. The funny thing is that twenty years ago, chiropractors dealt with people who moved too much for a living. Now, the opposite has become an even greater problem. It seems that sitting all day, staring at a computer screen is just as bad for your back.

This is something that many of us forget. Our bodies are made to be in motion for most of the day, not sitting down in one spot for several hours at a time. It is also interesting to note the boom of exercise programs a few decades ago because the world was starting to move less as a whole. So just how bad is sitting all day? Well, for starters, it can provide individuals with some serious spine damage, such as a herniated disc or pinched nerve. Too much sitting can also lead to becoming overweight, which will also bring you back pain in the long run.

While it may seem like we are suggesting that you quit your desk job to get better health, we aren’t That solution is not very practical, especially since most careers revolve around the computer screen and desk chair. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you don’t develop back pain now or in the future.

  1. Practice good ergonomic skills. Ergonomics is the science of having good posture while you perform every day tasks to prevent pain and injury. For office workers, you can easily have better ergonomics by placing your computer screen at eye level and by sitting in your chair with your back against the back of the chair and your feet flat on the floor. The best chairs will allow you to tilt at a 110-degree angle. Avoid slouching, craning your neck, and twisting your body when possible.
  2. Get up and move. Every 20-30 minutes, get up and move a little. Blood begins to pool when we are seated for more than twenty minutes. Get up and walk around or do some stretches. The easiest way to do this while still looking like a good employee is to take a phone call standing up (with the use of a headset) or to deliver a message to a co-worker instead of emailing them.
  3. Increase your steps. Chances are that you do not have a whole lot of time to get in exercise for the day. You can help yourself get in more activity by parking further from your office building, taking the stairs, and walking a few laps around your building at lunchtime.
  4. Stretch your back and neck. Take a few minutes every hour or so to stretch out your back and neck. Just gently try to touch your toes and tilt your head to each side. You can do these stretches in the bathroom if you are afraid your co-workers will see.

Don’t let your desk job lead to a lifetime of back pain. Just follow the tips above and practice back pain relieving exercises and stretches on your day off.

Always consult your primary care physician prior to implementing any changes in activity or exercise.


Story Credit, Image Credit: my desk by Arvind Grover. Used under Creative Commons license.

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.