Workstation: How to reduce your back pain?
How much time do you spend at your work desk?
On average, Indian employees spend the most time in offices, working an average of 52 hours per week. Shocking isn’t it? That means you spend a lot of time sitting, typing, researching, making presentations, or driving to the office and back home. According to a survey, 49% of respondents in India spend at least 100 minutes everyday driving their cars! Even after office hours, how many of you actually spend time doing physical activity? Mostly, people prefer spending time watching videos or playing games on their phones, surfing the internet, and watching TV, which easily contributes to their 60 hours a week or more ‘in a chair’. Sitting for prolonged periods of time is one of the common causes of back pain or it may worsen an existing back pain problem.
Therefore, prevent your chances of getting back pain or worsening your back pain condition by following these tips:
- Sit back in your chair
It’s worth spending in a comfortable chair instead of surviving the back pain. Find out one with adequate lumbar support to protect your lower back from strain. When you sit back in your chair, your lower back should be flush to the chair, your bottom should feel comfortable, and of course your feet should rest flat on the floor.
- Find your neutral position
The natural tendency for most people is to slouch over or slouch down in the chair, and this posture can put strain on your spine and cause . Therefore, find your neutral sitting position – sit back in the chair, relax your shoulders, put your feet flat on the floor (if you need to adjust your chair to the correct height, do it), and rest your hands in your lap or on the desk. This neutral position should feel comfortable, with no pain, no spasm, and no clenching.
- Right adjustments at your desk
Little things matter, like where you place your keyboard and mouse. Ideally, they should be no more than two inches above your thighs. Use a keyboard tray if you have one. If not, you can adjust the height of your chair. You can even use a footrest to keep your feet in a comfortable position and your knees bent correctly. Your legs should never hang down. Also, never use a wrist rest, as it tends to hamper circulation.
- Workstation ergonomics
Place your monitor on the desk in front of you so that if you extend one arm, the middle finger of your hand just brushes the screen – that’s about 2 feet. Your eyes should line up with the top quarter of the screen. If you have to look up at your screen, your neck pays the price. Finally, tilt the monitor down slightly to reduce the possible glare.
- Don’t be chair bound
The worst activity for your back is no activity – it is one of the common , so don’t sit all day long. Even a quick stretch or some minimal movement such as walking to the water cooler or washroom will help. While on a call with someone, you can take a walk around the office. Instead of using office extensions, walk to that person’s desk and get your work done. Taking a break is good for your eyes, too, and it helps you clear your head so you can be more productive.
Be smart and healthy with an ergonomic workstation because if you end up with back pain, it can affect your whole life, limiting your movement and taking the joy out of each day.
You can even consult our expert doctors if your back pain continues for more than one or two weeks, or if there are troubling back pain symptoms like pain with a tingling sensation in the arms or legs, soreness, or shooting pain in the back. Our doctors will first identify a general source of pain and then determine appropriate back pain treatment and effective methods of pain management.