Sitting at a desk all day is no joke, but it's something we've all had to do for years. It's easy to get used to the pain and even start thinking that it's normal. But that doesn't mean your lower back—or any other parts of your body—have to suffer!
Chronic back pain has several causes, from poor posture to low-quality office chairs, but there's a solutions for every problem. For example, you could find relief by giving your office an ergonomic makeover, increasing your physical activity during the workday, or simply learning the best way to sit with lower back pain.
In this guide, we'll show you how small changes can help relieve the stress on your body when you're stuck in an office chair for hours on end.
First, identify what your bad habits are.
We know that sitting for long periods of time isn't healthy for our backs or bodies. But have you heard about pandemic posture? According to Harvard Health, it’s "poor posture from slouching at a desk or on a couch during time at home," which could be why your neck and back hurt.If you’re like most people, there are a few things that may be causing you pain:
Sitting at a desk with your legs crossed or bent in front of you. This can put pressure on the tailbone and cause pain and numbness in the legs.
Sitting for long periods of time without getting up to stretch or move around. Our bodies don’t like sitting still!
Hunching over while working on a computer screen or looking down at papers all day long. This puts strain on the upper back and neck muscles, which can lead to headaches or neck aches later in the day or evening when they’re not able to relax properly during sleep because they are too tense from being hunched over all day long at work (or school).
Sleeping on a bad mattress. If your mattress is old, sagging, lumpy or has springs poking out of it, then you’re probably not getting the restful sleep that you need. In fact, many studies have shown that having a good quality mattress can improve overall health and wellness.
Make sure your chair is a healthy one.
The chair is where you spend a lot of time, and it needs to be healthy. Here are some things to look for:
Adjustable height. Sitting at a desk all day can really take its toll on your back, so make sure that the chair you choose can adjust to suit your height and level of comfort.
Comfortable armrests and seat cushioning. An uncomfortable chair means an uncomfortable employee, so make sure that their chairs have cushions with lumbar support (the lower part of the back), armrests, and adjustable heights as well!
Stability--don't go cheap here! This one is important because the last thing you want is for your employee's chair to tip over when they're working late into the night on an important project! Not only will this frustrate them by making them lose time doing work over again because they fell asleep while sitting upright... but it also makes us wonder why they didn't just get up every once in awhile throughout their shift instead?
Make your office more ergonomic.
There are a few things you can do to make your office more ergonomic:
Adjust the height of your chair so that it's easy to reach the keyboard with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
Make sure your mouse and keyboard are at the same level (if they're not, get a table or other surface to raise them). This helps prevent repetitive strain injury by reducing stress on the wrists.
Adjust the tilt of your chair so that it's comfortable for you and allows you to sit with good posture.
If these adjustments don't help, consider getting an ergonomic desk chair with back massager or lumbar support features if needed.
Stay Active Throughout Your Workday
By making a few small tweaks to your workspace and routine
- A high-quality ergonomic office chair can provide adjustable lumbar support, 360-degree swivel functionality, tilt tension, adjustable seat height, adjustable headrest height, and many more ergonomic features. Some of the best ergonomic office chairs are executive office chairs and ergonomic chairs designed for long hours. Gaming chairs also often feature an ergonomic design.
- The first thing you'll want to do is make sure that your chair is comfortable. A lot of people spend many hours sitting in their chairs every day, but most office chairs are not optimized for comfort. If you're looking for a new one, it's best to go with a good ergonomic chair (like this one) which will help keep your back straight while minimizing strain on the lower back muscles.
- If possible, try getting up from your desk every hour or so and stretching—just five minutes should do the trick! This can be especially helpful if you have an office job with lots of sitting involved; by taking these short breaks throughout the day, you'll break up any repetitive movements that could cause injury down the line.
- If standing gets too uncomfortable for long periods at a time (which happens even when using an ergonomic desk), try using some sort of padding underfoot; yoga balls work well because they conform to uneven surfaces like concrete floors without rolling away from underneath your feet! It's also important not just try standing still all day either: don't forget about those core exercises!
Seek Medical Advice
The most important thing that you can do for your back pain is to speak with a healthcare professional. Your doctor can look at your health information and lifestyle to ensure you're not dealing with anything serious. And if you are, they can point you toward the right physical therapy or pain relief strategies.
Figure Out What Works Best for You
Lower back pain might seem an inevitable part of working at a desk, but it doesn't need to be with these tips. Back pain can be a complex issue, so stay on top of it by speaking with your doctor, learning good posture, giving your office an ergonomic design, and keeping active with breaks and exercise.
Remember, the best way to sit with lower back pain is with good posture in a supportive office chair that has adjustment features and a comfortable, padded seat. And don't forget a standing desk so you can alternate between sitting and standing.