Whether you’re currently working in an office or at your home office, back pain can be a serious issue that limits your comfort and your productivity. Millions of workers around the country have some type of back pain, but there are many ways to prevent back pain in the office.
What Causes Back Pain in the Office?
Before you can prevent pain, you need to understand the things that can cause it. Many factors can lead to back pain in the office, but the most common are:
- Force: Putting too much force on your back by lifting or moving heavy or awkward objects
- Repetition: Repeating movements, like twisting or rotating your spine, can strain or injure your back
- Inactivity: Staying in one spot all day, particularly if that spot is sitting in a chair that does not have an ergonomic design, can lead to poor posture and back pain
Other factors, including aging and lifestyle factors, can also increase the likelihood you will experience back pain. Taking the time to exercise every day, especially if you are currently working from home, will help to stretch out your abdomen and back muscles. A healthy diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D will strengthen your bones and prevent them from growing weaker and less able to support your back.
Preventing Back Pain in the Office
- Pay attention to your posture when sitting or standing. When you are standing up, evenly distribute your weight between your two feet. Don’t allow yourself to slouch or hunch over. When sitting, always use a chair that supports your spine. Adjust your chair height so that your feet rest flat on the ground and your thighs are parallel with the floor. If you store a wallet or phone in your back pocket, remove them so that you do not put any additional pressure on your lower back while you sit.
- Take care when lifting heavy boxes or weights. Lift with your legs and keep your core tight, with the object you are lifting as close to your body as possible. Never twist when lifting and try to maintain the natural curve of your spine.
- If you need to perform repetitive tasks, use lifting devices whenever possible and try to alternate your tasks so you do not do the same exact motion many times in a row.
Preventing Back Pain in the Home Office
- If possible, bring your office chair home to work in if you typically work from an office and are temporarily at home. If not, consider investing in a quality ergonomic chair for your home to limit back pain in the office.
- Take regular breaks to stand up and stretch. This can prevent you from getting too uncomfortable or stiff.
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