How to Prevent Back Pain at Work
February 25th, 2020
The average full time employee spends over 160 hours a month at work. Making it through a productive work day can be rewarding, but may also cause ailments such as back pain. If you struggle with occupational back pain, don’t worry you’re not alone. Here at Ergonomyx, workspace fitness is extremely important to us, so we’ve brainstormed some preventative tactics you can use in order to limit and even prevent back pain at work.
1. Pay attention to posture: Perfecting proper posture can be a daunting task, but the rewards of doing so are well worth it. Some benefits include:
- Reduction of muscular stress
- Less tension in shoulders and neck
- Decrease in muscle fatigue
- Improved alignment of joints
In order to have proper posture, ensure that you are sitting up straight in your chair and that your feet fall flat on the floor with weight evenly distributed. We would recommend making daily reminders if you find yourself struggling to maintain this posture.
2. Ensure your desk height is right for you: A lot of office workers do not actually know the importance of proper desk height. The most universal desk height is 29 inches, but unfortunately for individuals who are not 5’8-6’0 this desk height may not be the right fit. Since everyone is unique, it is important to find a desk height that is optimal for you.
For this we would recommend investing in a standing desk. Not only are you able to adjust your height while sitting, but the ability to adjust your desk height to a standing position will help decrease overall muscle tension and improve your sit to stand ratio. Our Smart Sit-and-Stand desk allows you to connect to our Mobile Application in order to preset your ideal desk height, as well as create personalized routines, which can help prevent back pain caused by inactivity.
3. Ensure your screen is the proper distance away: Make sure to adjust your computer screen to an optimal position to reduce back pain. Your monitor should be:
- At a height where the top of the screen is at or just slightly below eye level
- 51cm (around arms length distance) from your eyes
- Tilted 10-20 degrees back to maintain distance between eyes and screen
4. Find the right chair: Similarly to the importance of finding the right desk height, your chair is crucial when it comes to preventing back pain. A more personalized chair will always be the way to go in our books. Look for a chair that has an adjustable armrest, backrest, and height as well as cushion for extra support.
5. Move, stretch, and listen to your body: People underestimate the importance that moving has on your overall health. A recent review of 47 studies noted that prolonged sitting was greatly linked to negative health outcomes, such as increased insulin levels, higher risk of diabetes, and weight gain regardless of exercise levels. We believe it is crucial to have a healthy balance of sitting, standing, and moving. Make sure to take regular breaks throughout your work day. Whether that be grabbing a quick coffee, taking walking meetings with colleagues, or walking around the office, these small shifts can make a noticeable difference for back pain and overall health.
It can be very easy to go throughout your day without noticing small habits that may be contributing to back pain, but ignoring these indicators for too long can eventually lead to adverse health effects and chronic pain. The hardest part is to understand and identify parts of your day that may be contributing to your back pain. Once identified, it’s as easy as making small and achievable changes to maximize your back health while at work!