3 ways to avoid back pain when sitting at your desk

If you spend a fair amount of time sitting at a desk, looking at a computer, you may start to feel back pain, or neck and shoulder pain.

It may start as an odd twinge. But then start to become more recurring.

Or – as we often see with many patients at the clinic – a simple movement becomes difficult because you feel so stiff.

Sound familiar?

The reason for this pain is that our bodies are made to move. Our spines are full of joints to enable us to bend and twist in all directions.

So it is hardly surprising that sitting at a desk for hours in one static posture is likely to lead to trouble.

Some simple advice if you work at your desk for prolonged periods of time is to get up regularly to give your spine a break.  Parents in particular need to be aware if their child is spending long periods of time on their computer.

3 ways you can help to avoid back pain when sitting at your desk.

1:   Every 30 minutes, stand up or walk around briefly – it only needs to be for a less than a minute to give your back a chance to move.

2:   Make sure that your chair height is so that your eye’s are level with the top of the monitor of your PC, your PC and keyboard are straight in front of you, not to the side and that everything is at a comfortable distance from you.

Bring your PC monitor and keyboard closer to you if you feel you are overstretching.

3:   Make sure you sit up in your chair, and that your bottom and shoulder blades are in contact with the back rest which is fully supporting – and are fully supporting you. If you have back pain, you may find it helps to place a small rolled up towel in the small of your back for support.  Avoid crossing your legs. Avoid slouching.

These 3 tips will all help to make sitting at your desk more ‘spine friendly’.

The diagram below illustrates good and bad posture further – although we do recommend the hip position to be slightly higher than the knees if possible.

Back pain is one of the most common afflictions in the workplace – and classroom. The best advice is simply not to sit for hours in one position. Keep moving! It’s FREE!

If you are experiencing pain in your back, shoulders or neck when sitting at your desk,  our chiropractic or physiotherapy team may be able to help you. If there is  a problem starting, it is far better to nip it in the bud early and be aware of simple changes you can make for a more comfortable, flexible day.

To book an appointment call 020 8943 2424



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