Back pain is a common gripe for many adults. This is especially true among people who work in offices, who often experience significant pain and discomfort after sitting in a chair for eight or more hours a day. While back pain isn’t necessarily damaging on its own, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a myriad of health issues, some of which may be serious. The Mayo Clinic explains why work-related back pain occurs and what you can do to mitigate its effects.
It’s commonly believed that constantly lifting and moving heavy objects at work is the primary source of back pain and strain. While this is definitely a factor, there are other situations that can also cause issues for workers. Repetitive movements, such as constantly bending or twisting your spine, can also be a factor. This type of movement is often present on assembly lines or in warehouses. Conversely, inactivity can be just as damaging to the structures in the spine. Inactivity is a huge concern within an office environment, especially when workers are there for long hours.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address back pain on your own. Your office chair plays a huge role in this case. A good chair will offer ample support at the neck and back, which makes it easier to assume healthy posture throughout the day. To ensure your seated posture is good, make sure your back and shoulders are straight against the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Your keyboard and monitor should also be within a comfortable distance.
Taking frequent breaks is also encouraged. If your body is feeling strained and stressed, take a moment to walk, stretch, or change your body’s position to afford relief. You can also ask your supervisor about making upgrades to your work station or mandating regular rest breaks to recover.