Is Your Office Job a Pain in Your Back?

If you suffer from back pain, your job may be the culprit. Most people who work in an office sit at a desk for most of the day. If your job is keeping you chained to your desk in a sedentary position for long hours, you could be putting your back health at risk.

Danger of Prolonged Static Postures

Static postures are the positions of the body when “at rest”—whether sitting, standing or lying down. According to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at Iowa State University, “Static postures (or “static loading”) refer to physical exertion in which the same posture or position is held throughout the exertion. These types of exertions put increased loads or forces on the muscles and tendons, which contributes to fatigue.”

The lack of movement also causes a slowing of blood flow through the muscles, interrupting the natural cycling in of nutrients and oxygen as well as cycling out of toxins. The muscles are overworked and undernourished, and fatigue results.

Added Stress: Poor Body Mechanics and Back Pain

Another on-the-job tendency that can contribute to back pain is bad posture. This problem results from poor body mechanics, which sitting in an office chair usually causes. When you are tired, or your spine and back muscles are fatigued, you will eventually find yourself slouching or hunching. These postures overstretch spinal ligaments and strain discs, leading to back pain.

Postures that can contribute to back pain include the following:

  • Rounded shoulders: Bending over your computer keyboard in a curved position
  • Hunchback : Sitting at the computer for long periods, hunched over your keyboard
  • Forward head posture: Staring at your computer screen for long periods, either hunching over or slouching
  • Anterior pelvic tilt: Sitting without stretching for extended periods

If you are worried that your office job may be contributing to your back pain, try these simple suggestions to improve your back health:

  • When sitting at your desk, make sure your elbows are at a 90-degree angle when you rest your fingertips on your keyboard.
  • Make sure you have low-back support by pressing your bottom against the back of your chair, placing a cushion between your lower back and chair, causing a slight arch.
  • Check that both feet are flat on the floor, and your knees are level with your hips.
  • Make sure your gaze is aimed at center of computer screen. Raise or lower it to avoid back strain.

Follow these steps while at the office to ensure you are “working” to preserve your back health!

For more information on back health, call Non-Surgical Orthopaedics at 770-421-1420. Let us help you eliminate back pain problems today!

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