Back Pain from Office Job: Solutions for a Healthier Workday
Back pain—it has become one of the leading pains people experience around the world. In fact, it’s the third most common reason people go to the doctor. In its worst form, back pain can be a debilitating condition that lowers a person’s overall quality of life. It can be caused by a lot of different factors such as lifestyle and injury, and today’s office environments are among the leading causes of back pain.
If you’ve been experiencing back pain from your office job, you’re not alone. More and more people today experience back pain as a result of their work lifestyle, especially in jobs that involve sedentary habits like prolonged sitting.
But what can you do? How do you find back pain solutions when your work involves the very habits that cause them?
Addressing Back Pain from Your Office Job
Because back pain experienced in the workplace is often caused by unhealthy habits, one of the first steps you need to take is to break those habits and to replace them with healthier ones.
Don’t sit for too long
Prolonged sitting is the leading cause of back pain. If you spend hours on your chair in front of your computer, you are inviting a lot of health problems—poor posture, lack of movement and circulation, as well as reduced functional capability of your muscles and body organs. The solution? Break the habit of prolonged sitting.
When it comes to this, a standing desk is one practical solution you can incorporate in your space. It’s an equipment that will help you easily change your sitting habits, allowing you to incorporate more standing time even as you work so that your body doesn’t stay locked in one certain position. Alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day will help you reduce the chances of experiencing back pain.
Measure your activity level
And not just at work, but in your everyday life. Do you get enough exercise? Do your recreational activities involve movement, or do you spend your weekend watching TV on your couch or playing on your computer? How often do you move around the room to do physical tasks? The key to eliminating back pain is to make movement a regular and a natural part of your day-to-day life, be it heavy physical exercise or your small daily physical activities. What’s important is to keep your physical activity level high.
Stay mentally healthy
Apart from improving your daily physical habits, it’s also important to pay attention to your state of mind—your mental habits. Do you find yourself constantly overthinking or worrying? Are you in a constant state of stress and anxiety at work? Does your schedule involve tight deadlines that leave you with barely enough time for yourself? All of these things can manifest physical symptoms in your body, and one of the leading symptoms is back pain.
Check if the pain you’re experiencing may be caused by mental pressure, in which case you have to find a healthier way to deal with stress. Meditate. Take some time off. And make sure you get enough sleep every day.
Use a lumbar cushion support
This is simply an additional pillow especially designed for your back. Some ergonomic office chairs already come with built-in lumbar support, cushions that you can specifically adjust to give your back much needed relief when you are working on your chair for long hours.
The key to finding a good lumbar support is to choose a cushion with just the right thickness and firmness, able to provide enough support and remain in good shape for a long time.
Check your shoes
Certain shoes can cause pressure on your legs, knees, and up your back, depending on the shoe height and design. If you’re usually in high heels when you go to work, make sure that you are comfortable and not straining to balance yourself the entire day. Find a way to rest your legs by keeping your feet up. You may get a footrest to help ease pressure on your legs and feet.
If you practice alternating between sitting and standing at work, it’s even more important to use proper footwear. The wrong footwear will cause fatigue when you stand even for just a few minutes. You may also invest in an anti-fatigue mat. Or, switch your high heels with flat shoes once in a while.
By modifying your habits and adjusting your working environment, you can avoid back pain from your office job. Check which of the items mentioned above you can start doing today in order to start enjoying pain-free days at work.
Frequently Asked Questions
A study shows that a healthy ratio between standing and sitting is 1:1 to 1:3. This will depend on several factors, primary of which is your capability and comfort level when standing. If you’re just starting to shift from more sitting to more standing, you can start standing for 15-20 minutes every hour. Then, you can build from that and add more standing time to your day as your body gets used to the habit.
First and foremost, replace your fixed desk with a standing desk to make shifting between sitting and standing easy. To make the habit more consistent, set a timer that will remind you to stand every hour. Apart from these, find opportunities to stand and walk around–when going to the water cooler, when in need of something from a colleague, when talking on the phone, etc. Start by being intentional, and then practice to make the habit more natural and second nature to you.
The right anti-fatigue material will largely determine the comfort it provides as you stand. When shopping for one, also check for extra features such as built in ridges, massage balls, and exercise ramps. All these features help stimulate the soles and heels of the feet, providing extra comfort to help you stand more without getting too tired.
MotionGrey is a Canadian standing desk company that specializes in ergonomic furniture. We supply and install only the best quality standing desks and ergonomic chairs in the country. We offer free shipping within Canada and the US.
What made you switch to standing desks? Our products are designed with wellness as the focal point. From our electric standing desks to our office and gaming chairs, we deliver best value by putting your health, safety, and comfort as top priority. Boost your creativity and level up work performance. We want you to create great outcomes so we’re providing you only the best tools to make them possible.
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