According to Pain BC, back pain is the most reported form of chronic pain in Canada, with a noticeably higher complaint level than other sources of discomfort. While there can be numerous causes for back pain, one of the largest is from sitting incorrectly throughout the day, especially at work. Many Canadians work office jobs that require them to sit at a desk for 7-8 hours, therefore incorrect sitting can add up to cause back problems. Since the back is specially designed to cushion pressure across the vertebrae, incorrect sitting for extended periods of time can disrupt this natural design and lead to pain. In order to minimize pain experienced from sitting at a desk all day, there are a number of precautions that can be taken.
Sit Properly In Your Chair
Slouching is extremely detrimental to back health because of the way that it opposes the natural curvature of the spine. Instead of letting the natural ‘S’ shape of the back cushion the body’s weight, leaning forward distributes pressure unevenly and forces muscles to work harder. Sitting up vertically keeps the spine in line and pain-free. Adjust the back of your office chair so that it is upright, providing added support. The seat of your chair should also be adjusted so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle from your body or tilted slightly downward. Set up your computer screen to be slightly below eye level so that you aren’t straining your neck by looking too far up or down. Since you’ll be at your desk for such a long time, you need to be aware of how you’re sitting to make sure that you aren’t repeatedly placing strain on your body.
The body wasn’t designed to stay still all day so you need to give your body a chance to move and relax. Take a walk every 30 – 45 minutes and then to give your back a break. Avoid sitting at your desk during lunch, it’s much better to walk somewhere else to eat, if only for the brief break. If you need an excuse to take a walk then go to the bathroom as it may go over better with supervisors than doing a few laps around the office space.
If you feel your body getting tensed or feel that you may be slightly hunched over, take an opportunity to get in a good stretch. Every couple of hours stand up from your chair and do a few simple stretches, especially those that focus on the back. Not only will you help ease any discomfort but it may also help keep you awake and focused by encouraging blood to flow properly to different parts of the body.
Exercise is extremely beneficial for avoiding lower back pain. In addition to completing exercises to strengthen your back, try to focus on strengthening the core muscles, as they also play an important role in back support. There are a number of additional health benefits of exercise, so it’s a good idea to start adding a workout routine to your weekly schedule.
In short, it’s in within your power to make changes that will prevent lower back pain. By properly adjusting your seating, taking breaks, stretching, and getting more exercise, you can minimize the negative impact of your office job. At Downsview Chiropractic we are committed to helping our patients overcome chiropractic problems so that they can live life at their very best. Come see one of our trained massage therapists, who have helped numerous happy clients experience relief from chronic back pain.