Approximately 26 million Americans experience back pain. And while chronic illnesses and injuries contribute to many of these incidents, a large percentage of sufferers experience back pain due to sitting at a desk for long hours. If your job involves long periods of sitting, poor posture and lack of mobility can create constant pain in your lower, mid or upper back. You can take pain medication to ease inflammation, but why be a slave to drugs?
Fortunately, there are other methods to improve your health and reduce pain while working full-time. For example, some full-time workers notice significant improvement after switching to a Soul chair, which is a chair designed to stabilize posture. The unique design of the Soul not only improves posture, but reduces back inflammation.
But this isn’t the only way to maintain good posture and reduce pain at work. Here are four effective tips for getting through the workday, pain-free:
- Sit upright in your chair. A habit of slouching can contribute to chronic back pain at work. Make a conscious effort to sit upright in your chair with a slight arch in your back. Additionally, keep your head and shoulders upright. Rather than twist your body to reach for papers, turn your entire body or chair. Thus, you avoid straining your back muscles.
- Protect your lower back. If your lower back isn’t fully supported, you’re likely to experience lower back pain by the end of the day. Ideally, you want a chair with adequate lower back support. If your chair doesn’t provide this type of support, place a pillow or a rolled towel behind your back.
- Consider a footrest. If you’re shorter than 5’4, you may need a footrest to reduce pain and discomfort. The average work chair isn’t designed to accommodate short people. For optimal back support, your feet should rest flat on the floor. If your feet hang in the air (even slightly), you’re more likely to lean forward. This posture is bad for your back and can trigger pain.
- Take frequent breaks. Rise from your chair at least once every hour, if possible. Stretch your legs and your back muscles for a few minutes to alleviate tension. Take advantage of other opportunities to rise from your chair. For example, if you have a telephone or a conference call, stand and pace the room as you complete your call.
Work-induced back pain is a real annoyance. And if you don’t find an effective solution, this can impact productivity and job satisfaction. There is no reason to deal with constant pain. Practice these habits and you’re likely to have a better work experience.