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How To Support Your Back When Working

Its been found that sitting actually places increased stress on your spine and spinal discs when compared to standing. With prolonged sitting with poor posture such as slouching or leaning forward, this may contribute to low back pain

Your every day work habits can play a role in developing chronic low back pain. Here are a few easy adjustments you can make to reduce pain in your back.

Support your spine at your desk.

  • Keeping the knees bent at the 90 degree angle with your feet flat on the ground. Adjusting your seat height so that your hips are roughly the same height or slightly higher than your knees.

  • Use Lumbar Support- Your chair should support the natural curve of your spine. If the chair does not have a good lumbar support please contact us and we can advise the optimal ergonomic solution that will suit your work and life style. Just remember to sit back in your chair all the way back so that the roll supports your spine, not just cushions it.

  • As mentioned before in avoiding to slouch or lean forward when working. Sit up straight with your ears directly above the shoulders. When working on a computer, make sure you adjust the monitor height so that your eyes naturally see the top third of the screen when looking straight ahead.

  • Consider alternative office set ups such as standing desks for part of the day as this may bring much needed relief from your chronic back pain.

  • When using a keyboard and mouse, ensure that your forearms and hands are level and straight and make sure that your arm is close to the side of your body when you use the mouse. The reason is the nerves in the hand leave the neck and run down the shoulder, elbow and wrist. When your arm is by your side, the nerves aren't being compressed.

  • Ensure your feet are able to be placed flat on the ground, using a foot rest will be the best thing to do. If you don't have a foot rest- small stack of books or block will do the job.

Mayo Clinic

Support your spine with back exercises and stretches.

Exercises and stretches that target the back muscles may help in reducing the pain in the low back. By improving the muscles in the back's strength and endurance the muscles can better support the spine and by improving the back's flexibility, the spine's range of motion can be increased for better function. Various exercises and stretches are available to target the lower back and nearby muscles that can affect the lumbar spine strength and flexibility. Check with our Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist which exercises may be appropriate for you.

Participate in low impact aerobic activity.

Aerobic exercises may also help minimize your lower back pain. In addition to strengthening your back and providing your tissues with essential blood flow- there are also the following benefits such as:

  1. Decrease stress on your lumbar spine as you lose weight

  2. Decrease pain levels

  3. increase likelihood of maintaining day to day function

There are many options of low impact aerobic exercises such as cycling, elliptical machine and walking. If these cause any issues you can conduct exercise in the water. Just remember to check with your Doctor or Exercise Physiologist before starting a new program.

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