When you leave the office at the end of the day, do you often find you’re hunched over due to lower back pain? If so, you likely aren’t alone. Unfortunately, so many of us spend our days slumped over in our chairs as we type away at the computer. We’ve become so accustomed to it that we typically don’t even realize our posture has become lax.
While it might not seem like a big deal at first, it can actually cause a lot of problems for you long-term if you don’t do something to resolve it. The good news is, you aren’t doomed to deal with lower back pain forever from sitting in that office chair. There are a few things you can do to both prevent and relieve pain. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Position your chair and computer at the optimal height.
One of the biggest culprits of back pain is caused by our posture at our desks. For many people, their chairs are too low, they find themselves hunched over the keyboard, and they look down at their computer monitors. This isn’t ideal for your neck or back and is going to leave you dealing with a lot of pain and tight muscles.
Instead, you want to position your chair at a proper height for your desk. Your hands should rest comfortably on the keyboard, instead of you being required to slump over it. Another helpful tip is to position your computer monitor at the correct height. Instead of looking down, you want to keep your computer at eye level so you can look straight ahead. If you need to adjust your neck in order to look at the screen, something needs to change. You can adjust your monitor height by propping it up on a stand if needed. If you don’t have a stand, you can use a stack of books in a pinch. Making these simple changes will help you notice a difference immediately.
2. Set reminders to take a break.
To prevent back pain from becoming too intense, remember to take breaks throughout your day. The worst thing you can do for your body is to remain in the exact same position all day long. You can set a reminder on your phone to get you up and away from the desk. Use this time to stretch or do a quick walk around the office. Not only is it great for your back, but it’s a good way to get your energy levels back up to help you power through the day. If you can sneak in a few yoga moves, your body will thank you for it immensely. You can even invite your co-workers to join in.
3. Invest in a massage chair.
One great way to relieve back pain is to invest in a massage chair. The reason a massage chair is great is because you don’t have to schedule appointments with a professional masseuse or pay high prices regularly. Instead, you can make a one-time investment in a massage chair that you can use whenever you feel like it, no appointment required.
Massage chairs today are very advanced and can perform a variety of techniques and even incorporate some pretty high-tech equipment to deliver an experience that feels like human hands. The rollers in the chair can help work out any tight spots and tension you’re struggling with. Once those muscles are loosened up, you’re going to feel much better and more relaxed.
4. Try a standing or treadmill desk.
Another great tip is to change up your desk from time to time. Encourage your employer to add standing or treadmill desks into the office. A standing desk is going to be a great opportunity for you to get up and out of the chair while still allowing you to get some work done. You just need to make sure the computer monitor and keyboard are positioned properly for optimal results. A treadmill desk is also helpful because it gives you the chance to work while exercising. Not only is it great for your back, but it’s essential for your health overall.
5. Check in on your posture throughout the day.
Finally, make it a priority to check in on your posture during the day. When you get so consumed in your work, it’s easy to begin slouching without realizing it. And of course, you’ll wind up paying for it at the end of the day. To avoid this, make it a habit to pay attention to your posture and adjust yourself as needed. It’s the best way to ensure you’re not slacking by slouching over the keyboard as you type away.
You should keep your feet flat on the floor, avoid crossing your legs, and also keep your ankles in front of your knees. Also, you don’t have to over-arch your back or neck, which is why it’s so important to position your desk and computer monitor accordingly. Remember to sit up straight and keep your shoulders relaxed and you should feel those back problems becoming a thing of the past.