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Do you often hear yourself saying, “Ouch my back hurts when I sit in my office chair?” Then you might be in trouble.
If you sit for a prolonged period incorrectly, it can contribute to lower back pain. When sitting in an office chair, the natural tendency for people is to slouch over in the chair, and this posture can overstretch and strain your spine. For some, this can lead to osteoporosis (weakened bones). Here are some common office chair related pain issues which we face in our daily lives.
Lower Back Pain – Typically due to a lack of lumbar support.
Knee Pain – Related to sitting too low in your office chair.
Upper Back & Neck Pain – Related to not keeping the back and head in contact with the chair while working.
Wrist Pain – Caused by not adjusting the chair arms properly.
Did you know that sitting for more than 11 hours a day had a 40% greater chance of premature death within 3 years in comparison to people sitting for 4 hours or less? Sitting with the correct posture in your office chair can keep you productive in your workplace.
You should never settle for pain in your office chair. If you’re dealing with discomfort, take the initiative and make the changes necessary to remain healthy in the workplace. You may have heard the saying, “sitting is the new smoking”. When we think of something that could threaten your life, you probably don’t think about your chair at work. But sitting too much may lead to obesity and heart disease.
Now, let us see the 5 important things that you can do to reduce that stingy pain from sitting on office chairs.
1. Follow Correct Posture & Alignment
Proper sitting posture is extremely important. Make sure that your lower back is curved naturally forward. Keep your feet flat on the floor to minimize stress on your hips and spine. Your knees should be about even with your hips. If your feet can’t comfortably reach the floor, try using a footrest. Have arms rest comfortably at your sides Keep your shoulders back and relaxed, with your wrists straight, not bent. Also, remind yourself to sit straight and not bend to look down on the computer keyboard.
2. Stay Active & Exercise Regularly
Our sedative work lives give us bad pains in our bodies. Regular exercises like walking, swimming, or bicycling will help the body stay aerobically conditioned, while specific strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding the back to stay strong. These benefits of these exercises promote good posture and help strengthen muscles and prevent injury. Moderate aerobic exercises and strengthening deep abdominal muscles can reduce back pain significantly which can cause less pain while sitting.
3. Sit Less
You can tire your muscles with prolonged sitting. Be mindful and take a break every 30 minutes that you sit. You can walk around the office, take a small walk for 5 mins or even a pee break which can help with your posture. Sitting for long hours can pile up extra calories. Just standing up and stretching can relax those muscles and help you increase productivity. To help you remind to get up every half an hour, put your smartphone to work by setting an alarm.
4. Upgrade to Ergonomic Chairs
Ditch those uncomfortable traditional office chairs and switch to ergonomic chairs. While traditional chairs offer a static sitting posture which creates stress to the back, legs, and thighs, ergonomic chairs allow dynamic positions, thereby increasing blood flow. Hence it can reduce stress on the spinal cord, and fatigue. You can also try putting a cushion to your back to avoid discomfort.
5. Limit Phone Screen Use
While sitting on office chairs, we tend to bend forward to check our phones. Following a head-forward posture can cause painful muscle strains in the short term and can contribute to disc or joint injuries in the long term. When you have the option of replying to your emails via a desktop or laptop, do that which can contribute to good posture reducing back pain.
We spend the majority of our time at work or behind a desk so it’s important to look after yourself. A comfortable workspace can help you feel your best and make you more productive. Living with chronic pain can be very exhausting and frustrating.