Back Pain: How To Live With Less Of It When Working In An Office
Here’s a blog post written for you by our PTA, Jimmy, on ways to manage aches and pains if you’re an office worker…
Do you work in an office based job?
Do you find yourself struggling with neck, shoulder or back pain after sitting for long periods of time?
Wish there was something you could do to reduce the pain?
Well there is a solution to create a safer, healthy and comfortable working environment for you, so you don’t have to put up with annoying aches and pains.
Let’s start at the bottom with your ankles…
Research suggests your ankles should be supported via a foot rest keeping the ankle joints at just over a 90 degree angle.
The same rule applies to your knees, keep them at slightly over 90 degree angle with at least 80-90% of your thighs supported on your seat parallel to the floor.
So basically, at all times your feet are planted firmly on the floor and you’re not sitting in a twisted position – which I know can be easy to do after sitting for hours without regular breaks!
Moving on to those troublesome lower backs…
A lot of us are guilty of having poor sitting posture – slouching in our chairs at work creating extra un-necessary stresses though our spine and the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) that support our spine and body!
To avoid this extra stress it’s important to ensure that your bum is touching the back of the chair. So get your wiggle on and shuffle right to the back of your chair, don’t be worried if your feet come off the floor this is where the foot support will be ideal and come in handy.
To reduce lower back pain the use of a lumbar support which can be purchased very cheaply or done by simply rolling up a towel and placing it on your lower back, will straighten up your posture and help say goodbye to aches in your lower back.
Now we have a good back posture let’s take care of those painful necks and shoulders…
Do you spend most of your day on the phone at work?
Here’s a tip – use a head set to avoid your typical hunched over neck and shoulder phone position, keeping your neck free and loose.
What about if you’re spending long hours on the computer, or using a laptop?
Just like your legs it is also important to support your arms with arm rest which should be just higher than the level of your desk keeping the elbows at just over 90 degrees and the elbows level with your keyboard.
The use of a simple wrist support should also be applied as you are typing away to keep your elbows level with your keyboard.
Most importantly for your neck is the height and positioning of your computer screen. The top of your monitor should be directly at eye level and straight ahead of you so you are not twisting your neck and leaning it forward.
If you work from a laptop, you can get yourself a support to raise the screen up to your eye level. The use of an external keyboard and mouse can also avoid any issues caused by raising your screen, but also (and more importantly) keeps your elbows and wrists in the correct position.
If you are still struggling and find hard to relieve your pain take a hot water bottle, or a microwaveable wheat bag to work with you and apply for 20 minute periods throughout the day.
I hope you have found this information beneficial and that it helps you in your daily working life but, do remember movement is a must so whether it’s neck movements, and stretches while you are sitting or getting up to warm your wheat bag up in the microwave, do take regular periods to get moving or stretching to avoid seizing up!
For more tips like this on ways to ease back pain, click here where you can download your FREE copy of our back pain tips guide: