5 Tips for Surviving Your Desk Job without Back Pain
Sitting at a desk all day certainly pays the bills and gives you a sense of accomplishment, but it doesn’t do any favors for your back.
If you – like many of us – spend hours a day sitting at a desk, back pain doesn’t have to be a fact of life.
Here are 5 tips for surviving your desk job without back pain:
Set Your Desk up for Success
While there’s been much talk in the media about the benefits of standing desks, you don’t need to go to this extreme to keep your back healthy.
Instead, you can make your current desk as good for your back as possible by adjusting things such as your monitor and chair height and making sure the things you use every day are best for you ergonomically.
You shouldn’t spend your day looking down at your monitor. This position encourages you to round your shoulders and hunch over your keyboard, leading to neck and back pain.
Instead, your monitor should be at eye level, and your arms should rest comfortably on the top of your desk. Your chair also needs to be high enough that you’re not slouching in your chair.
Also, find ergonomically designed furniture and accessories whenever possible. These items, such as chairs, keyboards, and mice, are designed to put your body in the optimal position for spinal alignment and comfort.
Stand up & Stretch
Sitting for hours on end puts lots of pressure on your hips and lower back, and can lead to strain. And the more often you’re sitting, the weaker the muscles in your core and back become, making you more susceptible to injury.
To prevent undue strain and weakness, get up from your desk at regular intervals to stretch and move around some.
When you stand up, raise your arms above your head, then reach down to touch your toes. If you have a private office or don’t mind strange looks, you also can perform more intense stretches.
Try to get up and move at least twice an hour, although every 20 minutes is recommended. If you need to, set a timer or other reminder so that you aren’t trusting yourself to look at the clock. Take a lap around the office, refill your water bottle, or do a quick stretch at every interval.
The best way to avoid back pain caused by weak muscles is to make those muscles stronger.
Even if you aren’t one to hit the gym, spend some time every other day working on your core muscles. Start out holding a plank – either on your hands or your elbows, depending on your comfort level – for 15 seconds. Slowly work up by a few seconds every few days.
If you are a gym-goer, lifting some weights can help strengthen all the back and core muscles, helping you avoid back pain.
If you’re tired, you’re more likely to slouch in your chair all day. This puts your spine in a bad position and can lead to back pain.
To give yourself the best chance of sitting up straight during the work day, try your best to get ample sleep each night. This will help you feel refreshed and energized each day, allowing you to sit up and protect your spine.
Watch Your Diet
Eating foods that are considered inflammatory, including sugar, simple carbs, and high fat foods, can make any back pain you may feel even worse.
Rather than feeding this inflammation, adjust your diet so it’s high in healthy, anti-inflammatory foods – lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins. If you’re one of those people who normally goes out with a group to grab lunch, you may need to start brown-bagging it more, or just opt for the healthier dishes on the menu.
Chiropractic Care for Back Pain in Frederick, MD
Do you suffer from back pain, even mild pain? Are you sitting at a desk all day long? Our Frederick, Maryland, chiropractor can help relieve your pain so you can concentrate on your work when you need it most. Schedule your first appointment today!