Is Your Office Job Ruining Your Back?
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
In our modern day lives, most of us spend hours on end at work, or at home, sitting in some kind of chair. Unfortunately, most chairs are not designed by chiropractors. Sitting for prolonged periods of time without proper back support can lead to all kinds of nasty pains and aches. Even worse, it can eventually lead to chronic back issues. Some medical health experts are now even calling sitting the new smoking. There are a few methods you can use to reduce this problem. First, remember to schedule regular adjustments with your chiropractor. The benefits of regular adjustments are well documented and can benefit your overall health in a number of ways.
The second method is to understand how your sedentary lifestyle is affecting your back and slowly make changes to correct the issues. In Sunday school, many of us were taught the importance of good posture. But how many of us still follow what we were taught? Maintaining a good posture is difficult and can be extremely tiring at first. There are various muscles that have atrophied because you haven’t used them to hold yourself up for years. Changing your posture will tire you out at first, which may actually be a good thing. You can consider the change to your posture as a mini-exercise. Imagine you’re slowing training your muscles over time by maintaining the correct posture.
But what is the correct posture? The generally accepted “correct” posture is as follows. While at your office desk, keep your head, neck and shoulders upright, forward and aligned. This may be the toughest part for those who constantly slouch. Adjust the height of your chair so your hips are slightly higher than your knees and remember to leave room between the back of your knees and the chair. Your computer monitor should be between 20” and 30” away and directly in front of you. And if you can, find an office chair that has lower back support. Although the changes may seem insignificant, you will notice that it is not so easy to maintain this position. But if you can maintain this correct posture over a long period of time, you’ll start noticing big changes in your body.
Another method to reduce back pain and increase your overall health is to do regular stretches throughout the day. Without stretches, your body will remain tense and you will be more prone to injury. Stretches themselves do not have to be a full on exercise. You can even do them right at your desk! But similar to maintaining correct posture, you should remember a few key points when stretching.
Start slow and do not bounce as you stretch
Find a spot of tension and slowly stretch for 5 to 20 seconds until you feel the tension easeIf you feel the tension slipping away, you can try to push a bit further and hold that new position for just a few seconds for added relief
Remember not to overextend any of the parts of your body that you’re stretching
These stretches are meant to relief extension and relax muscles, not cause pain or add stress to your body
There are many different stretches you can do while at your office desk. Remember to start slow, target the areas with the most tension and continue stretching on a regular schedule. The combination of good posture will regular stretches will ease your bodily aches and pains, give you flexibility and even help you sleep better.