Whether your job involves heavy lifting, hours of standing, or sitting at a desk and typing all day, it’s important to take steps to maintain a healthy back at work. As anyone who has experienced back pain can certainly tell you, a sore back can totally ruin your workday, as well as your productivity and enjoyment of your job. We’ve compiled a list of steps that you can take, starting today, to prevent back pain while you’re on the job.
You’ve likely read by now the phrase that “sitting is the new smoking.” While this may sound like hyperbole, the World Health Organization points to physical inactivity as the fourth leading risk factor for mortality, accounting for 3.2 million deaths worldwide each year. Sitting for hours on end puts pressure on your spine, and will eventually produce lower back pain. Prevent this by standing a bit each hour, or invest in a stand-up desk if possible.
Check Your Posture
Turns out that Mom was right about posture! Excellent posture not only looks better, it helps keep your spine in alignment and your back feeling great. Proper seated posture includes keeping both feet on the floor, your back straight and tall, and your shoulders drawn back. Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed from right to left, and never cross your legs for more than a few moments at a time. If you stand a lot at work, be sure to stand on the balls of your feet, keep your knees soft, tighten your core, and pull your shoulders up and back, while keeping them relaxed away from your ears.
While minor imbalances in your workstation would not cause a problem if you were only there for a few moments, 8 hours of any imbalance will surely result in a sore back. Look for little things that you habitually do, like cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder, or constantly leaning to one side because of your desk setup. Try to find a way to balance things out so that you’re seated in alignment for as much of your day as possible.
Take a Break
If possible, step away from your workstation every hour or so. While it would be great to stop work and take a walk regularly, sometimes that’s not possible. Try to force yourself to stand up, have a little stretch, roll your shoulders, turn your head from side to side, and take a couple of deep breaths. Even a walk to the water fountain can clear your head so you can get back to work feeling better, inside and out!
Watch the instructional video below for some stretches Dr. Kennedy suggests for staying comfortable at your work desk!
If you’re experiencing back pain, the team at Wignall-Kennedy Chiropractic Clinic can help! Visit us online, or call 414-257-2575 today to start living pain-free!