Preventing Aches and Pains in the Office
In today’s tech-savvy world, most of us are forced to lead a sedentary lifestyle due to our jobs. The amount of time one puts in at work today leaves little time and health for us to enjoy the fruits of our labor. The usual casualty of this lifestyle is our body, especially the spine and among the most common sufferings is the lower back pain.
But there’s hope! Studies show that there is a myriad of ways to help prevent lower back pain and the good news is, that most don’t even put a dent in your pocket.
Many of the preventive measures for this work-induced menace revolve around the posture while at work and positioning of the laptop or computer screen and other devices.
Some of the day-to-day things to keep in mind are:
● Taking regular breaks from sitting
● Back or lumbar support and the right chair to improve your posture
● The position of the screen aligned with your eye level
● Keeping the mouse and the keyboard around the body to avoid stretching of the shoulder or elbow away from your torso
● Avoid receiving phone calls with the handsets or cell phones between the ear and the shoulder while both hands are occupied or typing
● Keeping your feet and knees at a 90-degree angle
Recently there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from the hazard of lower back pain. However, prevention and in some cases even a cure is quite achievable.
The Role of Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the science that deals with the arrangements and designs that best suit the interface between people and things in a particular environment.
Office ergonomics have a direct and pertinent role to play in preventing lower back pain at work. Doctors and studies suggest that being conscious of one’s posture while working for long hours with computers or laptops helps in minimizing the risk of low back pain.
It is, therefore, commonly advised to give proper lumbar support to your back while sitting on a comfortable chair preferably having armrests. Arms should be placed on armrests adjusted to a height so that shoulders are at ease, which in turn will provide relief to the back.
Also, knees are to be lower than your hips and at a 90-degree angle to our feet, which ideally should be flat on the ground to help the back deal with minimal stress. If your feet cannot be flat while sitting or the chair is too high, you can take the help of a small stool or a footrest under the table to rest your feet. These precautions help avoid unnecessary and harmful stress on the discs between our vertebrae in the lumbar region of our back.
The Role of Back Exercises
Studies suggest that apart from taking regular breaks to avoid low back pain, it is crucial to add strength to the muscles of the back. Therefore one can focus on the exercises that strengthen the lumbar region of your spine. Also, exercises like stretching muscles of the back while working in the office help to relax you and release tension. It is also suggested that overall regular exercise and keeping the body generallyactivehelp in combating the risk of low back pain at work. Even taking a small walk at lunch or to get up to fetch a glass of water could do wonders in keeping the low back pain at bay while working, some choose to set regular reminders on their PC’s or laptops at 45 minute intervals to encourage this.
The Role of Therapy
The problem of lower back pain has gripped our life in such a manner that it seems to have become a part of it, it should however not be accepted and steps to remedy back pain should be taken. Different methods are being experimented such as regular trips to a chiropractor or osteopath with different results – it’s important to find the right treatment for you. Traditional medicine and approach based on hiding the pain with pain relief doesn’tusually provide positive results. Consequently, along with physical therapy, factors like the social, environmental and psychological nexus around the sufferer are also taken into account.
Many suggest that alternative therapies like yoga, Pilates, tai chi, and massages also help in preventing low Back Pain. Although the effect of these therapies is not guaranteed medically or scientifically, often a word of caution is accompanied by the same. Despite this, these therapies have provided relief to people.
The problem of lower back pain at work is a hard one to deal with, but not an impossible one. Health experts are still researching novel methods to help alleviate and manage this threat to our hopes of leading healthy and fulfilling lives. Unfortunately, like any other issue that we deal with today in our technology supported lives, this one will also need habitual changes and perseverance. There is never a better time to start than now!
About the Author
Jon enjoys supporting professionals and businesses to address the need for ergonomic solutions within the workplace to encourage positive posture. He also understands that good seating needs to be accompanied by a healthy and active lifestyle where possible. Get more ideas about solutions for back pain help.