The workplace is a primary source of back pain for millions of people. Sitting for long periods of time, or lifting incorrectly are two of the most common reasons so many suffer from back pain.
There are some simple ways you can avoid back pain being part of your working life. Here, we offer three principles for a back pain free work day to help keep you moving, working and enjoying life.
The importance of seated posture.
Many of us believe that posture is about how your body is aligned while standing. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the posture you maintain while in a seated position is just as important. It may be even more important for those who sit for hours at a time, at work.
For people working with computers, craning the neck toward the computer screen is a common problem. This posture misaligns the cervical (upper) spine, effectively forcing the neck away from the rest of the spinal structure. When this occurs, permanent damage can be done which may result in eventual fracturing of the vertebrae.
Your chair may also affect sitting posture. Adjust it to allow your feet to be firmly planted on the floor. If necessary, a foot rest should be added. With your knees at a 90˚ angle, or with the knees slightly lower than your hips, you’re helping your back stay healthy and free of pain.
Another of the 3 principles for a back pain free work day is for those in more active workplaces. People involved in lifting heavy boxes and other objects at work should be very aware of how their posture and positioning can affect their backs.
Most people know they should lift with their legs and not their back. But planning the lift is also important. Ensure that your feet are at shoulder width before lifting. Once the load is off the floor and in your hands (using those legs), it should be borne as close to your waist as possible.
With your back straight, it’s important to keep in mind that your body should be supporting the lift evenly. This requires focused awareness. Twisting should also be avoided. Above all, don’t pull heavy objects. Push them. This is much easier on your back.
Take a break.
Of the 3 principles for a back pain free work day, the last one applies to everyone reading this and is probably the most important.
Take a break.
Sitting for sustained periods, or not allowing you muscles to rest, is one of the leading causes of back problems. Your body was made to move, but it also requires rest, regular shifts between seated and standing postures and stretching. Take a moment to stretch and realign your musculoskeletal system to help reduce the strain work can put on your spine.
Progressive Spine is your source for back care in New Jersey and New York. Contact us to talk about your spine care needs.