If you work an office job, you probably feel pretty silly complaining about back pain, especially if someone you know has a labor intensive position. Even though it might seem embarrassing, a lot of office workers have chronic back issues that can be worse than those caused by physical labor. In fact, 28 to 38 percent of office employees develop lower back pain.
But what causes back pain? Why would sitting at a desk give you more problems than working on a construction site? The answer lies in one habit: posture.
Posture has much more of an effect on lower back pain than you might think. Experts estimate that most people have poor posture at some point in their lives, and about 80 percent of Americans will experience lower back pain due to poor posture at some point in their lives.
If you have chronic back pain, you can try these steps to improve your posture:
- Sacrifice comfort for decreased back pain by forcing yourself to sit correctly with feet flat on the floor at or just above hip level.
- Get a monitor or laptop stand so that your screen is at eye level. You may need to get a separate keyboard so that you can type comfortably, but it will be worth it when you don’t have to slouch over your computer.
- Take one 2-minute stretch break for every hour you sit in your office chair. Tension in the neck and shoulders can lead to further posture problems that only add to the pain. Stretch your neck and back.
- Straighten up your car’s seat to make it easier and more comfortable to sit up straight while in the car.
- Save heels for special occasions and skip them for day-to-day life.
- Exercise to strengthen your core (which will include the muscles of your back).
Before these measures will be completely successful, you may need a chiropractic adjustment to correct the alignment of your spine. If your spine is out of alignment, it will be more uncomfortable to sit up straight.
If you need help establishing better posture for your overall health, contact us today for an appointment.