One of the most common reasons for a backache is poor posture and long hours at work. Over time, poor posture may be caused by habits from everyday activities such as sitting in office chairs, staring at the computer, cradling a cell phone, carrying a heavy bag over same shoulder, driving, prolonged standing, caring for small children, or even sleeping.
Poor posture can easily become second nature, causing and aggravating episodes of back and neck pain and damaging spinal structures. Fortunately, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely within one’s ability to control and are not difficult to change.
Here are some tips you can implement easily to correct your posture at work
Keep the body in alignment while sitting in an office chair
While sitting in an office chair, take advantage of the chair’s features. Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line. Any prolonged sitting position, even a good one, can be tiring. Shifting forward to the edge of the seat with a straight back can alternate with sitting back against the support of the office chair to ease the work of back muscles.
Avoid trouble maker positions
Be aware of and avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward, or tilting the head too much. These cause a strain on your muscles and can lead to the start of a backache.
Get up and move
As muscles tire, slouching, slumping, and other poor postures become more likely; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, change positions frequently. One way is to take a break from sitting in an office chair every half hour, for two minutes, in order to stretch, stand, or walk.
Give ample support to your body
Take the strain and load off of the spine by using ergonomic office chairs with ample back and arm support. Use a portable lumbar back support, or even a towel or small pillow while sitting in an office chair to avoid curving of the spine. Use footrests so the legs are comfortably placed.
Arrange your work space ergonomically
Positioning computer screens to your natural, resting eye position can also help to avoid leaning or straining the neck with the head tilted forward. Adjust your chair height to ensure that you not straining your arms while using the mouse and keyboard. Keep adequate distance between your seat and the desk to avoid slouching forward.
These small changes can make a big difference to your posture and can reduce recurrent back and neck pains.