Sitting in an office chair for eight-plus hours a day isn’t the easiest on your back. Sitting in an office chair for long periods can even cause lower back pain, or worse, exacerbate an existing back issue. Sitting, in general, tends to lead to a static, or still, posture that is out of alignment. This increases stress on the back, shoulders, arms, legs, and especially on the spine. This kind of posture specifically leads to tension and pressure on the back muscles and the cartilage pads (spinal disks) between the vertebrae. Sitting in an office chair specifically can cause a slouched position, with the arms forward to reach a computer. This can lead to too much stretching of the spinal ligaments and other parts of the spine. As time goes on, poor sitting posture can lead to or worsen back pain.
So what options do you have? In this article, we’ll look at different ways to prevent and ease back pain caused by sitting in an office chair.
The Best Way to Sit
Using an ergonomic office chair can work wonders when it comes to easing or eliminating back pain. However, they do require a bit of setup to work their best. This setup is needed so that the chair fits the individual sitting in it, so it can support their good posture.
- First, decide what height you need your chair based on your height and the height of your workstation. If your workstation is adjustable, this is the time to adjust it.
- Next, is the elbow measure. You want your arms at a 90-degree angle at the elbow when sitting. Sit as close to your desk as possible and position your upper arms parallel (up and down) to your spine. Place your hands at your desk. Adjust your chair up or down until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Now check that you can easily slip your fingers under your thighs, close to the knee at the edge of your office chair. If there is a lot of space, you need more height from your chair or desk. If it’s too tight, then you’d benefit from a footrest.
- Sitting so your bottom is against the back of the chair, move your clenched fist behind your calves. If you can’t, then the chair is too deep and you’ll need some lumbar support like a cushion, pillow, or rolled-up towel. You may potentially need a different office chair.
- Keeping your bottom against the back of your chair, add a cushion or padding of some kind that supports your low back into a slight arch. This will keep you from slumping forward or slouching over time. This kind of support helps your whole back.
- Next, let’s look at resting eye level. Sitting comfortably, close your eyes. When you open your eyes, you should be looking at the center of your screen. Lowering or raising your computer to the right height will reduce eye and neck strain.
- The use of armrests in your office chair reduces the amount of work your shoulders and neck are doing throughout the day. Adjust the armrest so that your arms are slightly lifted.
How to Prevent Back Pain from Sitting All Day
Even with your comfortable, ergonomically adjusted chair, it is still important to break up the day with some movement and stretching. This will allow your back to be in new positions, versus the same one for too long. A quick stretch and a walk to the restroom will help your blood to circulate and will give your back a break. On your lunch break or another time during the day, taking a 20-minute walk will pack in the benefits of circulation and of letting your back rest. Stretching also increases focus and productivity, so there are many benefits to this strategy.
Prevent and Resolve Your Employee’s Back Pain with BioFunctional Healthcare Solutions
BioFunctional Healthcare Solutions knows that healthy, happy employees are an integral piece to the success of a business. They have been helping businesses just like yours improve their bottom line and their company culture through cutting-edge corporate health solutions. Whether you need access to a nurse, an ergonomics program, or a mobility assessment for musculoskeletal disorder prevention, BioFunctional Healthcare Solutions has what you need to create a culture of health in your company and improve your bottom line. Reach out to them today! They will be delighted to tailor a plan of action that’s just right for you and your business.
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