Human beings were designed to be active. The sedentary lifestyle that results from working a typical 9-5 job behind a desk can result in back pain. Additionally, other occupations that require long periods of standing or lots of bending down, such as nursing, factory work, construction, auto repair, and more can result in a sore neck or back. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons estimates that around 60-80% of people will experience some type of back pain during their lifetime. There are many effective ways to prevent and mitigate back pain caused by one’s occupational duties.
How Can I Prevent Back and Neck Pain if I Work in an Office?
Office workers can experience back pain resulting from sitting improperly, sitting for too long, and straining their neck and wrists while typing on the computer. Following are some ways one can reduce the strain on their body during their day behind the desk. One of the most important steps in preventing back and neck pain at work is finding the correct chair for one’s desk or workspace. Multiple factors contribute to the right chair for a workspace:
- The seat: A good office chair should have an adjustable seat that can easily move up and down. The seat should also be made of a breathable, cushioned material. Armrests offer additional comfort and support.
- The chair’s height: It is crucial to keep one’s chair at optimal height for back and neck support. An adjustable seat ranging from 16 to 21 inches should work for most people. Optimal sitting position calls for an individual to have both feet on the floor, thighs positioned horizontally, and arms even with the height of the desk.
- Lumbar support: Lower back support is non-negotiable when it comes to choosing a desk or office chair. The spine has an inward curve, and sitting at a desk for long periods of time without this curve supported can lead to bad posture, back pain, and other serious issues. Choose a chair with an adjustable lumbar feature (depth and height), to adjust the support for each individual to avoid these potential issues.
- Backrest: Optimal backrests should be between 12-19 inches wide to accommodate most people. If the office chair’s backrest is attached to the seat, the backrest should be adjustable in forward and backward angles, in order to accommodate individuals’ needs to support the spine. The backrest should also lock in place once the user has determined the proper angle.
- Other features: Armrests should be adjustable up and down to accommodate individuals. An ergonomically correct seated position will allow the user’s arms to rest comfortably with shoulders relaxed. The forearm should not be touching the armrests when typing. Additionally, office chairs should easily rotate to avoid straining when bending over to access desk drawers.
What Other Factors Should I Consider When Trying to Prevent Office-Related Back Pain?
While adjusting seating position to stay ergonomically correct, and choosing the correct desk chair helps mitigate office-related neck and back pain, the problem of staying seated too long still remains. With many individuals working from home this past year, it is crucial to remember to remain active. Those who worked in large offices or who walked to work are now largely confined to the home, so it is important to seek out regular exercise whenever it can be fit into one’s routine. Take a break every hour to get up from the desk and walk around the home. When weather permits, take a walk around the block or engage in a short bike ride. Stretching in the morning, a few times during the day, and in the evening also helps the body remain loose and rid the body of minor aches and pains.
Bensalem Chiropractors at New Heights Chiropractic & Nutrition Help Patients with Back and Neck Pain
If you are experiencing back pain and need treatment, New Heights Chiropractic and Nutrition can help. We can identify the cause of your back pain and correct the issues so you can get your quality of life back. Contact us online or call 267-522-8131 schedule an appointment today. Located in Bensalem, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia, including Feasterville-Trevose, Langhorne, Southampton, Levittown, and Warminster