Back pain is a common problem in today’s world. In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association, some 31 million Americans will suffer from lower back pain at some point their lives. But what many people may not know is that, after the common cold, back pain is the most popular reason people miss work. Painful afflictions are bad enough, but when they cause a person to miss a day or more on the job then it affects their whole livelihood. The question then becomes how best to curb this problem and get the average worker back in the old office chair.
The good news is that there is no need to shell out big bucks on a chiropractor, although medical solutions are always helpful for any chronic health problems. No, before calling in the chiropractic cavalry every back pain sufferer should implement the below ideas to ensure they position their bodies properly throughout the working day. Not doing so will only exacerbate back and neck pain.
Adjust the desk and chair
Health experts state that back pain in the workplace usually stems from how a person is seated. The constant act of leaning forward in a chair, for example, strains the neck and puts undue pressure on the discs in the lower back. Chiropractors recommend a few things to eliminate this issue:
Promote lumbar support — It’s crucial to support the natural shape of the spine when considering how to sit. That means selecting an office chair that provides optimum lumbar support. Those who don’t have means to switch chairs can modify the one they do have by adding rolled-up towels or pillows behind their backs in order to ease the pressure.
Adjust the chair’s height – The typical office chair should always be at a height that allows the sitter to keep their knees at 90-degree angles and their feet flat on the floor.
Move the monitor – The computer monitor should be about an arm’s length away from the user and at a height just below eye level. This reduces strain in the neck by allowing the sitter to lean slightly back in his or her chair.
Avoid telephone handsets
Typically, many folks in an office like to multi-task while on taking calls. This usually involves cradling an office phone’s handset between the neck and shoulder, the strain of which can lead to more back pain. This should be avoided entirely. Whenever possible, those in an office should eschew phone handsets for headsets or the speakerphone function.
And this one is crucial. Medical experts say sitting in one spot for eight hours a day is often the main culprit regarding back pain. The recommended solution is to take “micro breaks” once an hour in order to stand up, stretch the legs and get the muscles in the back moving. Office workers should also consider 60 seconds or so of minor stretching in order to reverse the negative effects of the day’s constant sitting.
By taking the above tips into account, many folks should be able to reduce lower back pain to an extent, perhaps even eliminate it altogether. This is key, because chronic back pain can lead to a whole host of other issues, even neurological ones. Neuroscientists at Universities such as Harvard and Stanford, in fact, find that this type of pain can lead to impairment of social skills, memory, judgment and can even help bring on depression and anxiety. Best to attack the problem sooner rather than later.
Eric Lane is a professional blogger that provides information on the latest motorcycle news. He writes for Butty Buddy, the most comfortable motorcycle passenger seats on the market.