The average work day for individuals consists of seven to eight hours. These days require a lot of sitting, typing and staring at a computer screen. Long hours like these can take a toll on your body, especially your back. However, just being aware of the health of your back during your time at the office is an excellent first step in preventing any injuries or pain. Any movement is better than none at all, and there are several small efforts you can incorporate into your work day that go a long way for the health of not only your back, but entire body.
The concept is rather simple, "use it or lose it". Our bodies are meant to be moving on a regular basis and by sitting in a chair all day we are weakening our muscles. According to Peak Fitness, "The disks in your back are meant to expand and contract as you move, which allows them to absorb blood and nutrients. When you sit, the disks are compressed and can lose flexibility over time. Therefore, sitting excessively can also increase your risk of herniated disks." Sitting, especially with bad posture, is one of the worst things you can do for your back.
I bet many people are thinking "What am I supposed to do, my job requires me to sit for 7-9 hours a day?" However there are several small tasks that you can do to help alleviate back pain.
- Walk around the office every 30-40 minutes
- Park further away
- Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of emailing him or her
- Elevate your computer station, so you are able to stand while you work
- Take your phone calls standing up
Completing small tasks like the ones previously listed make a significant difference in helping you achieve and healthier back and lifestyle! It's estimated that 40 percent of people with back pain have spent long hours at their computer each day, so change up your work routine and help out your back!