The number of people who work a 9 to 5 job, in front of a computer or laptop screen keeps growing every day. This means that more and more people are starting to lead a sedentary life. The life we, humans, aren’t built to have.
As a side-effect of this way of life, we are constantly plagued by back, neck, shoulder pains and even headaches. But unfortunately, that’s not all – many office workers also complain of frequent muscle and joint pain, as well.
The necessity is the main reason we have to work this way, but there are certain things we can do to protect our bodies and health. Let’s see how we can protect our backs and necks when working in an office.
1. Don’t wait too long to make changes
The worst thing you can do is wait until you start feeling pain and discomfort to make a change. Instead, start being proactive from the very beginning.
There are many ways to ensure your body is safe from sedentary life. Explore those ways and find something that fits you.
Now, let’s see all that you can do to relieve your back, neck, shoulders, muscles, and joints while sitting behind a desk.
2. Invest in an ergonomic chair
The first advice anyone will give you is to invest in an ergonomic chair. Desk chairs vary in quality and ergonomics. Not all desk chairs are ergonomic no matter how high-quality they are.
Regular desk chairs are designed to provide comfort for a longer period. An ergonomic desk chair is designed to provide not only comfort but also promote proper posture, and maximize productivity at work.
An ergonomic chair has many adjustable parts – seat depth, backrest, armrests, headrest, seat tilt, and so on. Its adjustability is what makes it ergonomic. You can adjust and modify it according to your needs and physique.
This means less pains, aches, or injuries, proper posture, and better focus and productivity at the same time.
3. A sit-stand desk is great
Just as investing in an ergonomic desk chair is a great idea, so is investing in a sit-stand desk. It’s been a while since sit-stand desks came into popularity and for a good reason.
These adjustable desks allow you to either manually or mechanically set their height. This means that they allow you to alternate between sitting and standing.
The benefits of having this kind of desk are incredible. Not only do they allow you to sit less, but standing can relieve back pain, and lower the chances of weight gain and obesity.
But that’s not all, standing for a prolonged time can also lower your blood sugar levels, and reduce the chances of heart disease. So, investing in a sit-stand desk seems like a viable and healthy investment.
4. Set up your workstation correctly
In addition to the chair and desk, the rest of your workstation can also be set up ergonomically. This refers to your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
To ensure that you don’t have any back or neck issues, you need to position your monitor correctly. This implies positioning the monitor directly in front of you so that when you look straight ahead, you can easily focus on the screen.
If you need to make adjustments, do so. Make sure your eyes are looking slightly downward when looking at the middle of the screen so that you avoid vision problems.
The keyboard should be slightly below elbow height and the mouse as close to the keyboard as possible (on the same level).
5. Take breaks and move around
Taking breaks and disengaging from work for some time during a workday is necessary, not only for your physical but also for your mental health. It’s easy to get lost in work, but make conscious decisions to take breaks every now and then.
During these breaks, stand up, go for a walk, stretch your body, and simply move around. If you need to, set the alarm every hour of your work day to remind you to take breaks.
During lunch breaks, go out, go for a walk, or a bike ride. You can even squeeze in some yoga stretches. If you want, you can also practice mindful breathing. Both breaks and stretches can prevent back and neck pain, or at least relieve it for a while.
6. Seek advice from a physiotherapist
A great way to prevent back pain in an office is by consulting with a physiotherapist. A professional can give you more advice, they can tell you whether or not your current habits are good or you need to make more adjustments.
A therapist will also recommend you a massage therapy. They might even recommend certain massages, such as Thai massage, Swedish, sports, or deep tissue massages.
If you’re in the mood to try a Thai massage, make sure you book a professional Thai massage at Rozelle.
Any of the previously mentioned massages can help you with back and neck pain, so explore your options.
7. Exercises at least two times a week
Exercises, especially core exercises, can help strengthen your muscles and, in that way, better support your spine. Core muscles include the abdominal, back, and pelvis muscles so doing exercises that can strengthen them is a great start.
Tons of different exercises can help you strengthen your core. For example, you can do low-impact exercises that include brisk walking or you can try something more energetic that includes planks, sit-ups, and crunches. There’s also water therapy that’s great for people suffering from chronic back pain.
All in all, make sure you consult with a professional before you start doing any exercises.
Don’t let your back pain become chronic because you didn’t take the necessary measures to prevent it. Set your workspace correctly right from the start. Invest in a good chair and desk – ergonomic ones preferably.
Take enough breaks during the day, stretch, and walk. If you can work out and indulge in massage therapy every time you can. Following all these tips will help you reduce office back pain.
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