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How to Avoid Back Pain From Sitting Too Long At Work
Posted on 04/20/2016

How to Avoid Back Pain From Sitting Too Long At Work

The doctors at Bucks Rehabilitation Specialists routinely provide relief to many of the back pain patients we see. If you're looking for a doctor in Bucks County who specializes in back pain, we welcome you to our practice!

In today's technologically-driven world, more and more of us are spending the majority of our work day sitting behind a desk hunched over a computer. While our computers have made our work lives easier in many ways, all that sitting can easily lead to back pain as well as contribute to making an existing back problem worse. The main reason for this is when you're sitting for a prolonged period of time, a great deal of stress is put on the back, shoulders, arms and legs; and pressure is added to the back muscles and spinal discs.

As the day progresses, you most likely slouch down in the chair. This unnatural posture overstretches the spinal ligaments and strains the discs and surrounding structures in the spine which often results in back pain. 

Tips for Avoiding Back Pain from Sitting Too Long

A few simple changes in the way you work can help you avoid back pain from sitting all day. Here are some tips that can help.

Make Sure Your Work Surface is a Comfortable Height

Be sure your work surface is at a comfortable height so you don't have to hunch over, overreach or twist your neck, shoulders or arms when working. If possible, use a standing desk, alternating between the two desks throughout the day.  

Be Choosy About Your Chair

Instead of using just any office chair, choose an ergonomic chair that provides your lower back with lumbar support. Then tilt the back of the chair so it is very slightly reclined. Make sure the chair and desk work together so that you sit as close as possible to the desk, your elbows are at 90 degree angles while working, your thighs touch the seat of your chair, and there is several inches between your calves and the front of your chair. If not, adjustments need to be made in the height of either the desk or chair.

Sit Up Straight and Keep Both Feet on the Floor

Be sure that you're always sitting up straight in your chair with both feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Even if it feels comfortable to cross your legs, don't do it as more pressure will be put on your lower back when you're sitting incorrectly.

Get up and Move

Regardless of how comfortable your office chair is, prolonged sitting in any chair is not good for your back. Therefore you should make it a point to stand up, stretch and walk around for at least a minute or two every half hour. Just a short walk to the water cooler or restroom can help.

Do a Few Stretching Exercises

Every hour, stand up and do some simple stretching exercises. A good stretching exercise to do is to put your arms straight up in the air and interlock your fingers on each hand and then slowly reach upward to straighten your spine and lower back.

Another simple exercise to do is to stand up and sit down in a (wheel-less) chair a few times while holding your back straight and without using your hands for support.  Doing a few simple squats every two hours or so can decompress the spine to also help you avoid back pain. 

Contact Bucks Rehabilitation Specialists

If you have any questions about how to prevent back pain, please don't hesitate to contact us as we're always happy to speak with you. If you're experiencing back pain and need relief, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us as we specialize in relieving back pain.