Ergonomics in the Office

Avoid Back Pain With These 13 Tips

At my practice this week I have had several patients reporting similar back pain. In all these cases, the main cause of their back pain symptoms has been from sitting at their desk in a bad position from 9 to 5 each day. Unfortunately, if you work at a computer all day its highly likely that at some point you will feel a stiffness or discomfort in your lower back or between your shoulder blades.

When most of us sit at our desks the last thing we are thinking of is having good posture. The reality is that it is very important to consider your posture and make sure that you do everything you can to avoid back pain and shoulder pain.

Here are a few ideas to think about when sitting at your desk, which may help to improve your posture and reduce the possibility of back and shoulder symptoms:

Improve Your Posture At Work And Avoid Back Pain

  1.  Set your chair height to allow your feet to be flat on the floor or on a foot rest.
  2.  Ensure your chair has a full length back to ensure appropriate support to your lumbar curve.
  3.  Make sure there is sufficient clearance between the desk and your thighs and that your thighs are at a 100-120 degree angle from your upper body.
  4.  When sitting normally, shoulders should be relaxed, with elbows at 90 degrees when your hands are on the keyboard.
  5.  Your wrists should be horizontal or around a 20 degree backward tilt with mid forearms supported on the table.
  6.  Set your screen so it’s directly in front of you, approximately arm’s length away.
  7.  Position the top of the screen so it is at eye level.
  8.  Try avoiding prolonged sitting, especially when you’re getting tired – take regular walks if possible.
  9.  When sitting at your desk, try to replicate the same upper body posture that you would adopt if you were standing upright.
  10.  Sit back in your chair and use the back as a support and let the chair do the work when rotating from side to side.
  11.  Your mouse should be in easy reach at all times and you might find a gel wrist cushion will add further support.
  12.  Concentrate on not slouching in your chair – easily done after a long day.
  13. Speak to the facilities team at work and find out if you can have a desk assessment of how your work station is set up.

Back Pain Relief

Follow these simple steps and you will go a long way to avoiding back pain and shoulder pain in the work place. If, however you are experiencing pain and are looking for relief then give us a call at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice on 020 8298 7122.

© Bexleyheath Ostepathic Practice 2013