Students, bankers, office workers and others working white collar jobs at some point in their life will complain about back pain and irritated shoulders. After working long hours behind the desk and even attempting to change position every once in a while, people still get these complaints. The main overarching common ground all these activities have in common is that they result in long hours of working behind a desk. How does seating position affect your back? Can you limit bad posture? And could buying a proper office chair eliminate the issue?
Individuals in their studies or working desk jobs spend the majority of their day behind a desk. Even though this is the case, people tend to set their chair too low in comparison to their desk, which results in a posture that is not ideal for your upper body and back. Generally, this results in a hunched posture, looking down onto your screen, especially so if you’re working with a laptop. The most common causes of back pain in an office scenario results from awkward posture, working with your arms in a less than ideal position above shoulder level, chronic stress placed on your shoulders (even in small amounts for a prolonged period of time can turn out to be detrimental), and ‘static loading’ (when you hold your body in a certain position for a prolonged period of time straining the muscles).
One of the most obvious solutions to this is to adopt correct posture. Set your chair to the correct height, this is the point at which you can comfortably rest your hands on the keyboard without having to hunch up over it. Find a position in which you can comfortably keep your shoulders back in a relaxed position. Setting your computer monitor to a higher level so you do not have to bend your head to look at it also goes a long way in correcting faulty posture. When this change is first implemented the body needs to get used to it first, therefore thought needs to go into the deliberate positioning of your body and limbs. Once the cause of the shoulder and/or lower back pain has been corrected, other small tips could help prevent future injury. Taking frequent small breaks to relieve your body from its static position, or doing some stretches to change your position slightly goes a long way in office environment activity health!
The main reason behind lower back pain in office workers is usually the stress their position takes on the surrounding muscles. To prevent the pain individuals should adopt a comfortable and correct upright seating position. Buying a proper office chair and setting this to the right height would go a long way in correcting posture. Take frequent active short breaks that require you to stand up and change your position, perhaps even consider stretching systematically in a free space during your lunch break if your office offers such a place. This would help relax your back muscles and get them ready to work for the remainder of the day!
“Avoid Shoulder Pain At Work”. 2017. Healthline. http://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-pain/shoulder-pain-at-work#overview1.
“How To Survive Sitting All Day”. 2017. Nerd Fitness. https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/how-to-survive-sitting-all-day/.
Maher, Brian. 2017. “Why Your Desk Job Is Causing You So Much Pain”. Philadelphia Magazine. http://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2015/01/14/office-work-pain/.