An NHS study revealed that half of us are affected by back pain, and 8 million working days are lost due to work-related back pain each year. Not to worry there are many ways to avoid and ease back pain when working:
- Be aware of your posture; when standing try to distribute your weight evenly across the front, back and sides of your feet. When seated, sit up straight; align the ears, shoulders and hips in a vertical line as much as possible.
- Avoid prolonged positions; even a good sitting position can be tiring and put a strain on muscles. Try alternating sitting at the front of the chair with sitting at the back with the seat back supporting you. Try to get up and move about every 30minutes. Take 2 minutes to stretch, stand or go for a short walk, this will not only stimulate your muscles, but also your mind!
- Avoid unbalanced posture; such as sitting with your legs crossed, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward or tilting the head up.
- Position your monitor at your natural resting-eye-height. This will avoid straining the neck as you look up or hunch down to your screen.
- Exercise regularly; a good combination of cardio and strength training will strengthen muscles and protect against back injuries.
- Get moving: the body was designed to move, and it is so important to keep moving. Even if you are suffering from back or neck pain, limiting movement will only exacerbate the symptoms. Try to do lots of gentle movement within a relative pain free zone, in order to prevent everything from locking up.
The most common cause of neck pain is when you hold your head forward for long periods of time. This places undue stress on the joints of the lower neck, as well as muscles of the neck and shoulders. By trying to pull the neck and shoulders back into alignment, and doing some nice gentle stretches for the neck and chest, you can easily correct this, before it becomes too problematic.