If you were to picture someone with back pain you would assume them to be either a builder or an electrician that does a lot of heavy lifting. However, new research by the British Chiropractic Association shows that office workers are the ones who suffer the most with back pain.
Labourers put a lot of pressure through their spine day to day but because of this they also develop the surrounding muscles. Having strong muscles surrounding the spine decreases your chances of having back problems. This isn’t to say that labourers don’t get back problems. Poor postures and poor lifting techniques are the main contributors to back pain in labourers.
Most office workers, however, do not sit in the correct posture. Due to long times sitting at a desk people develop a classic posture of rounded shoulders and a forward head carriage. This forward head carriage can increase the weight that goes through the spine by up to 5 kilograms. This extra pressure can lead the joints, muscles, and ligaments to become overloaded thus increasing the chances of pain and tension in the surrounding muscles.
The best way to reduce your chances of developing a problem in your neck or back is to make the following adjustments:
Set your desk up correctly
- Make sure your chair is at the right height. Your arms should be at right angles when using the keyboard.
- Make sure the monitor is right in front of you. Turn your chair to face the monitor rather than turning your head.
- Lift the monitor to the right height. When looking straight ahead your eyes should be in the centre of the screen.
Sit in the correct posture
- Sit up and pull your shoulders back. Pull the shoulder blades towards each other and make sure that you are sitting straight. This means that there is much less chance of developing rounded shoulder and a forward head carriage and it also helps to correct poor postures.
- Touch type. This may seem like a silly suggestion but touch typing means that you will look at the screen rather than looking down at the keyboard.
- Get a good chair. Try to get a chair that doesn’t allow you to slump so easily – gym balls are great.
Take regular breaks
- You should take a break every 30 minutes. This simply means standing up, doing some shoulder rolls and walking around for 2-3 minutes. It will not take too much time out of your day but it will allow you to work easier and pain free.