Back pain is the second most common cause of long term absence across the UK work force and, somewhat ironically, it’s the office workers that are more likely to suffer from chronic back pain.
Bad posture is a major contributing factor. If you are one of the unlucky 80% of desk workers that suffer from back, neck or shoulder pain, read on for some basic tips on how to reduce your pain.
Use your chair functions!
Many people neglect to explore the many functions of most office chairs. Adjust the chair and make sure it is tailored to your comfort and needs before you begin your working day. Ask yourself questions such as is your lower back supported? Are your feet flat on the floor?
- Be mindful of your work station.
The top of your monitor should be level with your eyes and your elbows should sit comfortably at a 90 degree angle, with your shoulders relaxed and dropped. You should not have to lean forward when at your desk. Optimise the space around you.
Take a break every 30-40 minutes.
This is easier said than done but simple adjustments can be made to your working day; grab yourself some water more often, walk over to a colleague to ask them a question rather than phoning, stand up to take a phone call. It’s important to take these breaks from sitting to decompress your spine and reduce the pressure on your back.
- Adjust your work schedule.
Try and limit the hours you are sat at your desk. Careful planning and work management to include breaking up your desk based duties can make a huge difference.
- Improve your core strength.
Core exercises can train your muscles to work more efficiently, practices such as Pilates are excellent for strengthening your core muscles.