If your work or your lifestyle in general; requires you to sit in a place for prolonged hours, the chances are that you might be experiencing severe back pain.
Sitting in a single position for a prolonged period can put a severe strain on a number of muscles, and your back, especially the lower back, is the part of your body that tends to suffer the most because of a sedentary lifestyle.
Along with that, if your workstation is not well aligned and you have to constantly bed, slouch or stretch while you are at work, the chances are that your spinal ligaments and spinal disc are being overstretched.
Sitting in a position where your back is not well supported, which causes your spine to bend a little, can lead to severe damage to your spinal structure in the long run and also several episodes of chronic back pain.
The major reason beyond the back pain that we suffer from sitting for long hours is that our bodies are designed to be active; sitting for a long period of time does not come naturally to us humans.
Our sedentary lifestyles lead to back and spine problems and many other health complications like increased blood pressure, high cholesterol, etcetera.
Research shows that, on average, a person spends 55% of their waking time sitting; this leads to stiffness in muscles and also the development of tension around the spine and the lower back area.
The big question right now is if there are these many cons to a sedentary lifestyle, why do we follow it so diligently. In order to understand this situation better, we need to look into our modern lifestyle and work habits.
A majority of us, including school kids, college students, working professionals, spend at least 8 hours a day sitting at our desks, working because our jobs, studies, etcetera demands us to do so.
Now to be very honest, this situation can’t really be helped, and there is actually nothing wrong is sitting in a place to get our work done.
What matters is how well our workstation or study area is set up, do we or do not put in any effort when it comes to maintaining our posture, and the number of hours we keep our bodies engaged in any form of physical activity.
All of these factors play an important role when it comes to our spine health, and, unfortunately, for the most part of the time, these are the factors that are not in our control.
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Guidelines You Can Follow To Avoid Back Pain
Here are some times and guidelines you can use and follow to make sure that the office chair or your work is as comfortable to sit in as possible and causes the least amount of spine or back pain.
For this, you have to start by sitting as closely and as comfortably as possible to your desk and also make sure that your upper arms are parallel to your spine and also well-rested, make sure that you do not put any unnecessary strain on them while you are at it.
The next step is to rest your hand on your work surface, which can include your laptop, desktop, etcetera. Make sure that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, move your chair upwards or downwards for the same.
For this, you have to sit with your bottom against the chair back, clench your fist and press it between the back of your calf and in the front of your chair.
If you are not able to do this step easily, the chances are that your chair is too deep, and you need to adjust your backrest forward for better support; you can also insert lumbar support or get a new and comfortable office chair altogether.
To check whether your thigh measure is perfect for you or not, slide your fingers under your thigh all the way to the edge of your chair.
If you feel that the pressure is too much and it is too tight, then you need to use a footrest under your feet while you are seated. If there is more space than a finger’s width between your thigh and your chair, you will need to raise the dek or your work surface, which will enable you to raise your chair.
Ideally, while you are seated, your bottom should be pressed against the back of your chair and in order for your lower back to arch slightly to make sure that you don’t slump while you are at work.
This support to the lower back is of utmost importance to make sure that the load on your back is minimized as much as possible. It’s not good to slump or slouch on your chair because it puts a loy os stain on your spine as well as your lower back.
The armest of your chair should be adjusted in such a manner that your arms are slightly raised at the shoulder. Using an armrest on your office chair helps to take some of the strain off your shoulders as well as your neck and keeps you from slouching forwards while you are at work.
To make sure that your workstation is adjusted at an eye level that is perfect for you, shut your eyes while you are comfortably seated and face your head downwards.
Open your eyes slowly and aim your gaze at the center of your computer or your laptop screen. If you find out that your device’s screen is lower or higher than your own gaze, you will have to adjust the screen accordingly.
Find Alternatives To Your Traditional Office Chair
Most of us use a traditional office chair made from materials like leather or some other fabric; these chairs have been around for a very long time.
Nowadays, there are many chairs introduced in the market and preferred by the customers such as active, ergonomic, Swedish kneeling chairs or Swiss exercise chairs.
As we all might be aware that traditional chairs were design in a manner that they could provide complete support to the back and the spine but unique chairs like Swiss kneeling chairs promote good posture in the user without actually providing any form of back support and also helps develop the muscles of the abdomen as well as the back.
It is advisable to consult with an expert or your doctor or physiotherapist before using these chairs on a daily basis.
Avoid Sitting In A Place For Too Long While At Work
It doesn’t matter if you get the best and the most comfortable chairs in the world for yourself sitting in a place for a prolonged period of time is not at all good when it comes to the health of your spine or your lower back; it will eventually ruin your posture in the long run.
While you are at work, remember to take a break from sitting down every once in a while, stand and stretch your muscles at regular intervals, go for a walk for an hour or two.
Moving a bit and regular stretching can help reduce the tension and strain in your muscles and loosen them up slightly as well, which will also help you be active, present, and productive throughout the day.
Our jobs and our school work required us to sit around for many hours at a stretch, and these commitments do take up a majority of our waking time, and they also lead to sore and stiff muscles and aching back and spine.
There is, unfortunately, no way in which can reverse the damage we have caused to our body till now. Still, we can definitely reduce the strain and the pressure on it from now on simply by making a few changes here and there in our work environment as well as some of our personal habits for a better future.
You have to remember that excessive sitting while working or during leisure activities is extremely harmful and can lead to many health complications in the future.
Even after taking the necessary steps, if you feel that you still suffer from back issues, then it is a signal that you need to consult with a doctor or an expert.
We hope you find this article useful and apply the tips and guidelines provided in this article regarding the minor changes you can make to ensure better comfort for your back and spine in your life.
If your office chair has been in use for many years, then chances are it is the actual culprit behind your backache as the chair loses its ability to support the spin with time. Make it a point to upgrade to a new and better chair every few years to ensure that your back does not suffer.