Part of being in the modern workplace involves sitting behind a desk for prolonged periods of time. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 25% of working adults sit behind a desk for more than 8 hours a day. This is not entirely surprising if you consider the fact that most people, especially those working from home, sit at a desk in front of a computer all day.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can have adverse effects on your back, neck, and spine. According to Gene Tekmyster, a spine specialist, people who spend more than 7 hours sitting are highly susceptible to back pain and lower mobility problems in their spine.
If you typically spend most of your day sitting behind a desk while working, there are a number of tips that can help you minimize the risk of developing back pain. These include:
Many physicians and wellness specialists usually advise people to ‘sit up straight’ rather than slouch. The reason for this is that sitting increases stiffness in the muscles and exerts undue pressure on the discs of the spine. Slouching can cause strain on the ligaments of the spine and lead to pain at the base of the spine.
Minimize the amount of time you spend sitting
Apart from posture, the amount of time that you spend sitting down can put a strain on your back and lead to back pain. Although you may be comfortable sitting on a chair with the right posture, spending a lot of time slumped against a chair can be very detrimental to your back. It is therefore important to take breaks between prolonged amounts of time sitting to move around for a few minutes and release the tension in your muscles.
In case your firm can afford to purchase sit-stand desks, you’ll be able to change your posture without having to take a break from work. A sit-stand desk will not only help you to minimize the amount of strain you exert on your back but also increase your overall productivity. In case your office does not have sit-stand desks, you can improvise using a counter to make your work station slightly elevated for some time.
While exercise alone may not be sufficient to reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, working out helps to strengthen your muscles thus minimizing the back pain that results from prolonged sitting. You should therefore try to adhere to a regular workout regimen that incorporates a core strengthening routine.
Don’t Overdo It
While too much sitting can be harmful to your back, cutting out sitting altogether can also have adverse effects. For best results, you should mix sitting, standing, and movement throughout the day since this will keep your spine strong and healthy.
A Final Word
Backache is a very common problem which many people experience due to their sedentary lifestyles and work. By following the tips we have discussed in this post, you can remedy your back problems and strengthen your spine for optimal health.