Have you ever finished a long work day at the office only to go home with awful back pain? There’s something you can do about that! Here are 5 bad habits from sitting at your work desk that can lead to back pain—but, with time and practice, are completely preventable.
Sitting with your knees parallel to or above your hips: Knee placement has a lot to do with back health, because it determines both your hip and spine placement throughout the day. Keeping your knees lower than your hips in a desk chair will guarantee better blood flow and a straighter spine that won’t yell at you later. You can even purchase a wedge to guarantee that your hips remain above your knees.
Lack of lumbar support: The lumbar is the inward curve of your spine between your upper back and buttocks. Poor lumbar support is the leading cause of sciatica pain in office workers. Because we live in a world where sitting is unavoidable, it is important to encourage the body to maintain this natural curve to avoid slouching and poor overall back health. Make sure when shopping for an office chair to look for brands that advertise lumbar support to help avoid back pain in your future. You can also purchase a lumbar cushion or use a towel or small pillow in the small of your back if a new office chair just isn’t in the budget.
Choosing the comfy chair: We all loved beanbag chairs in college, but choosing an office chair for fluffiness over firmness is not going to do your back any favors throughout a long work day. Sitting in a squishy chair (vs one with built-in support) can lead to weird angles for your spine and will compromise your back comfort.
Crossing your legs: Crossing your legs naturally places one hip at a different angle from the other and therefore leads to poor spine placement. Whenever possible, keep your feet flat on the floor under your desk.
Staying at your desk all day: It’s been said that sitting is the new smoking. But more realistically the problem is remaining sedentary throughout the work day. Make sure to take regular breaks to stand up from your desk, stretch, say hi to a coworker, go fill up your water bottle. We can guarantee you’ll come back to your desk healthier, happier, and with a back that is thanking you!
Have more questions about how to promote better back health in your life? Contact Choice Rehabilitation today! We specialize in helping you maintain a healthier life and a happier you.