Mitigating Office Back Pain

Settling into a life of work, for many, means settling into a life at the desk. People spend their school days pursuing a career that allows them to avoid physical rigors. The people that obtain these careers may have a job that is less laborious, but necessarily easier on their body.

The downside of the dream job

A sedentary lifestyle comes with disadvantages. Yes, you may not come home physically beat up from lifting and hustling, but your body is worn down, to the surprise of many, by all the sitting. There is a wealth of health risk associated with prolonged amounts of sitting and those with sedentary lifestyles and careers.

Over 6 hours spent sitting a day is associated with increased risks of multiple life-threatening conditions and cancers. Even though those that exercise is able to reduce their risk by roughly 30%, they aren’t able to completely mitigate the risk. There is a host of factors associated with how prolonged sitting can negatively affect a person.

How prolonged sitting too long affects you

When an individual sits for too long a chain of events happens. At first, the individual will be comfortable, but as this begins to change, they may slouch. This slouching brings the spine out of alignment. This improper alignment puts undue pressure on the disk of the spine. This pressure may result in bulging disk or other injuries.

These injuries cause further the chain effect by encouraging the individual to overcompensate, putting pressure on other disk and the spiral will continue. While all of this is happening the lower back is tightening, straining the muscles in the lower back and buttocks in the process. This will constrain blood flow over time and contribute to intestinal conditions. Luckily, exercise, while recommended not only for risk mitigation but general health isn’t the only answer.

Changing your seating arrangement and take breaks

The easiest way to save yourself some trouble is to just get up. Every thirty minutes or so, get up and take a walk. Go stretch your legs. Surely, you could use the mental break anyway. If you want to get creative, exercise a little. If you’re limited on space, box-squats, push-ups or sit-ups are adequate.

If your office allows, get an ergonomic chair and set it to your size. An issue many people deal with is a chair and desk that force them to sit in an uncomfortable manner. This is simply asking for trouble. Set the height so your eyes line up with your screen while looking directly ahead. This means you’ll consistently maintain proper spinal alignment.

The next step would be to be to bring yourself closer to your desk. The goal is to avoid reaching a long distance for your mouse and keyboard. Not overextending yourself will also aid in maintaining proper posture. If you really want to get creative, you can throw away the concept of a chair altogether.

Noone really needs a chair

Recently, a trend against chairs has been picking up. Two popular alternatives have been the stand-up desk and Swiss exercise balls. The stand-up desk is quite obvious. So long as you aren’t locking your knees your blood flow remains as it should be and you avoid a lot of the stresses put on your body by extended sitting. This isn’t always the best for people with bad knees, however.

If you’re looking for more information, there is tons of information. The 7 Best Books for Back Pain (2017) – Free Your Spine is where you can find some great sources.