Give Your Lower Back Support
At work, one of the biggest causes of back pain is not giving your lower back proper support. Ideally, you should have a chair at your desk that is adjustable and offers full support. However, if this isn’t an option, there are ways to modify your chair so you can sit comfortably.
Place a pillow between the chair and your back so your lower back will arch forward slightly. Additionally, you can use a footrest to give your lower back some extra relief. Above all, make sure you never slouch forward or slump when you’re sitting in your office chair. This places extra stress on your lower back and lumbar discs.
Adjust Your Chair to the Proper Height
Once you have your lower back supported, it’s important to adjust your chair to the proper height. This not only reduces strain on your back, but it also helps relieve some discomfort from sitting. At the ideal height, you should be able to use your keyboard with your forearms and wrists straight and level to the floor. Additionally, have your elbows by your sides so they form an L-shape at the joint. Finally, make sure your feet rest flatly on the ground.
Put Your Computer at an Optimal Level
Place your computer and accessories at a level where you don’t have to contort your head and neck to use them. You should have your computer screen level with your eyes and about an arm’s length away. You should also have your keyboard around four to six inches away, and your mouse should be close enough that you don’t have to bend your back to reach it.
Get Up and Stretch Often
No matter how well you adjust your office space for comfortable sitting, it’s still important to get up and move around frequently to prevent pain from affecting your job performance. If possible, try to take a break every half hour to walk, stretch, or stand for a minute or two. Even better, if you can take a 20-minute walk during your lunch break, you can promote healthy blood flow through your spinal structure.
Consider Alternatives to Office Chairs
You might also want to consider using an alternative to an office chair, such as a stability ball. These promote good posture and require more active use of your muscles for balancing and sitting upright.
If you spend a lot of time sitting in an office chair during your workday, these tips can help you reduce back pain and prevent existing pain from worsening.