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How To Avoid Back Pain When Working At A Desk

Kevin Gardner 1079 26-Nov-2018

How To Avoid Back Pain When Working At A Desk

One of the major complaints that employees have at work is the time spent sitting. Most business-related occupations require workers to sit throughout the entire day. Even for those employees who don't mind the inactivity, the sitting can still cause back pain. Muscles within the lower back tend to tense up after hours in the same position. Here are a few tips for helping to reduce that back pain. 

1. Take regular breaks

Jobs that require workers to sit throughout the day often result in employees feeling a lot of back pain. As sitting is the primary cause of the pain, reducing the amount of time you sit at work is the first step in reducing this discomfort. Sitting for an hour or so shouldn't cause any back pain. The problem arises when employees have to sit for hours on end. The tension in the muscles compounds over these hours and the pain worsens. Taking short breaks to walk around and stand up can help break up the time that these muscles are tense. This can result in less pain throughout the day. As most jobs require employees to leave their desk routinely, most workers should have no problem taking regular breaks. 

2. Sit on an exercise ball

Sitting on an exercise ball is a great way to help reduce back pain at work. Standard desk chairs are poorly designed to encourage proper posture. Instead, they cause more back pain and overall discomfort. Desk chairs don't require any movement or room for adjustment. When workers are uncomfortable, they have to stand up and readjust before sitting back down. The rigidity of these chairs also places a lot of stress and pressure on the lower back. Exercise balls provide the movement and balance that workers need for a more comfortable sitting experience. Since these balls move, the body has to activate the core muscles which helps establish good posture. The movement also allows for more natural adjustments. 

3. Stretch throughout the day

Stretching throughout the day is another great way to help avoid back pain at work. This pain can develop from the tightening of the muscles throughout the upper and lower back. Stretching helps to loosen these muscles and can even prevent potential damage. Simple stretches such as toe touches and reverse bows are enough to keep these muscles from becoming too tight. Lunch time is a great opportunity to perform these stretches in the middle of the day. Those who experience serious back pain may have to find other time throughout the day to stretch. Bathroom breaks and coffee breaks are other great opportunities to perform these stretches. 

4. Don't sit for the rest of the day

Every employee that has to sit for their work understands that back pain worsens the longer they sit. While finding a job that doesn't require sitting may not be realistic, there is another effective way to reduce back pain. Workers can strive to avoid sitting while not at work. This can help to balance out the amount of time that you spend sitting and doing other things. If you sit for hours after work and on the weekends, your back pain will only worsen. It is recommendable to stand or lay down after work to offer your back a break from the sitting position.

5. Consult with your doctor

Although back pain is a fairly common occurrence, there could be more serious ailments below the surface. Constipation back pain, tumors and even infections are possible issues behind back pain. Many people misattribute their back pain to work-related issues such as constant sitting. While this is true for a majority of people suffering from back pain, it is still important for everyone to visit their doctors when these issues arise. Doctors will be able to tell if the pain is caused from something as benign as sitting or something more serious. Your doctor should even be able to give you suggestions for reducing the back pain. 

If your job requires prolonged periods of sitting, follow these steps to help avoid having back pain. 

Updated 07-Sep-2019

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