Although work can be a pain, it does not have to cause you pain. Jobs have shifted over the last century from physical labor to indoor desk work. From programming to accounting, customer service, sales and design, all of these industries have more professionals stuck at their desks for the greater part of the work day. People send up to 10 hours each day staring at electronic devices, thanks to the advent of smartphones, computers and tablets. Although work has been made easier because of these devices, poor posture, neck pain and back pain have been increased due to the increased amount of time that people are forced to sit.
Whether you face chronic back pain currently or are merely trying to avoid it, walking away from your job is not the solution. Instead, you can easily set up your office space to avoid neck and back pain and strain – and it is easier than you may think. There are many equipment options available today that make it easier than ever to make your workday pain-free. Plus, taking time to rethink your work environment is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that your work habits and posture are truly healthy.
Start with a Good Chair
One way to help reduce back pain from your desk job is to get an ergonomic chair. A well-constructed ergonomic chair can help to reduce not only discomfort but also fatigue, as well as increase blood flow, while reducing risk of injury to your back and neck. Using the right chair makes a world of a difference and is very important. Because of this, you should try to find a chair you can either test out in a store or one that offers a solid return policy if you do not like it. When looking for an office chair, keep an eye out for the following:
- Reclining ability because sitting at a 90 degree angle is actually bad for your spine. 100 to 110 degrees is better.
- A good backrest with lumbar support.
- Flexible height.
- The ability to swivel or rotate so you can switch back and forth as need be.
Get A Good Desk
Look for a desk that enables you to be in more than one position. One of the biggest pitfalls of many desk jobs is that people spend too much time in the same position for a long time. If you can switch from a sitting to a standing position, this is idea. Some desks, called sit-stand desks or sit-to-stand desks, are a great way to mix your posture up throughout the day, helping your spine and keeping neck and back pain at bay.
Perfect Your Posture
Even with the best desk and chair, your spine will not be in tip-top shape if you fail to sit correctly. Pay attention to your head position as well as that of your hands and legs. To keep back pain away, keep the following posture-related things in mind:
- Sit upright with your shoulders over your hips and your back and shoulders against the back of the chair.
- Do not slouch.
- Do not hold your phone between your shoulder and ear. Opt instead for a hands-free headset.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Do not cross your legs.
- Relax your shoulders while you type.
- Allow your arms to lightly rest on your chair’s armrests.
Keep your computer monitor at eye level. Test your placement by closing your eyes then opening them. Your eyes should naturally fall on the address bar in your internet browser. If your monitor is in the wrong location, move your monitor up or down to place it correctly. Once it is in place, tip it forward just slightly.
If your monitor features a touch screen, do not put the screen too far away from you. You should be able to easily touch your screen with the tip of your middle finger without leaning forward at all.
Keyboard and Mouse Placement
Your keyboard and mouse placement matter too. A pullout keyboard tray is best for your keyboard and mouse so you can customize the height with the tray. Your elbows should be positioned at a 90-degree bend, without your shoulders needing to slump. Your mouse and keyboard should be a shoulder’s distance apart.
Although having an ergonomically friendly desk can help keep back pain at bay, it may not solve all of your problems. Be sure to take regular breaks throughout the day and see your Tucker chiropractor regularly!