5 Ways to Decrease Back Pain When Sitting in Your Office Chair

Back pain is extremely prevalent; according to the Mayo Clinic, 80% of people will experience it at some point in their lives. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons people miss work and visit their doctor. It can either be preventable or inevitable.  

On the bright side, some types of back pain are avoidable. Per the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders, people who stay in shape, maintain a healthy weight, and abstain from smoking reduce their chance of problems. On the other hand, some pain is unavoidable: it’s a result of aging, heredity, and other diseases (such as arthritis).

People who sit all day long – in an office environment, for example – are also at risk. Sitting itself isn’t arduous, but it places repeated pressure on the bones, pressure that can evolve into discomfort.

Still, there are things you can do to keep pain at bay. Consider the following:

Set up your workstation properly

To keep your back in its best shape, your work station should be at the proper height. This is determined by your height – taller people need higher work stations. A work station that is too low can leave you leaning forward; something that’s highly causative of pain.

Choose a good ergonomic chair

According to Spine-health, there are certain features you should look for in an ergonomic chair. First of all, look for a seat that is easily adjustable. This allows you to sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor, a posture that helps the back. Secondly, make sure your seat is wide and deep enough. You should be able to sit with your back against the backrest, with a tilt that is adjustable.

Take frequent breaks

Most people don’t take breaks each hour, opting instead to take a longer break mid-morning and another mid-afternoon. But rationing your break-time is better for your back – it gives it a rest on a regular basis. Aim to take a break each hour: a quick five-minute walk can do wonders.

Move your mouse closer

Reaching for your mouse (or anything else) engages the back muscles and leaves them tired. Thus, the closer your mouse is, the less strain on your back. You don’t need to keep it in your lap (it won’t work if you do), but move it as close to your chair as realistically possible.

Adopt a healthier lifestyle

As mentioned above, back health is tied to overall health. So, if you want to fend off back pain, adopt a lifestyle of wellness. Swap out red meat for fish, reduce your soda intake, hit the salad bars instead of the local bars, and aim to get at least thirty minutes of exercise a day. And, while you’re sitting in your desk chair, try a few deep breathing exercises. They’re great for stress reduction.

Back pain doesn’t need be part of your job package. The above tips might not eliminate your discomfort altogether, but they’ll help. And they’ll stop it from getting worse in the process.

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