How to Stop Your Desk Job from Killing Your Back
Desk jobs are often viewed as comfortable, low-risk occupations that are easy on the body. After all, you stay all day indoors. You don’t have to move heavy objects or operate dangerous equipment. What could go wrong?
A lot, it turns out.
Our bodies are not designed to sit all the time. We’re meant to stand, move, and stretch. Staying in the same seated position starts to take a toll on the body. Whether you’re working from an actual office or the comfort of your home, a desk job can negatively impact your body very quickly.
For starters, since you’re not moving around, you’re not burning any calories throughout the workday. That alone can lead to muscle loss, weight gains, general stiffness, and more. But it’s not just your body that suffers.
Be Proactive and Protect Your Back
If you work at a desk, you can take actions both in and out of the office to protect your back. Here are the top seven things you can start doing right now to avoid future pain:
Exercise your core two to three times each week. Your core includes your abdominal, back and pelvis muscles. While there are dozens of core exercises available to protect your back, the most common are variations of the plank, sit-up, bridge and crunch. Ask your trainer or physical therapist for the proper technique for each.
Make sure your office situation is ergonomic. Ergonomics is the science of optimizing products for human use. In an office environment, ergonomics includes everything from the height of your desk and chair to the positioning of your keyboard, phone and monitor. When it comes to ergonomics, a good rule of thumb is if it looks or feels awkward, do something about it.
Protect your back by investing in a good office chair. You probably spend a third of your day in that chair, so make sure it feels comfortable. Your office chair height should be adjusted so your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest, and your thighs are parallel to the floor. If you have armrests, use them. Your arms should lightly rest on them while your shoulders are relaxed. Many office chairs include some type of lumbar support. Having no or inadequate lumbar support puts excess pressure on your spine.
Consider a standing desk. Desks that you stand at rather than sit behind come and go in popularity, but they’re actually a good option for keeping your back healthy. Before you make the investment, however, ask a coworker who has one if you can try it out for a day.
Sit up straight. Good posture is not simply an old wives’ tale. If you tend to slouch forward or lean back at your desk, you’re likely putting your spine out of alignment. Place your monitor at eye level to improve your posture while sitting and keep reminders nearby about maintaining a straight back.
Take periodic breaks. Get up every now and then to stretch your entire body. While standing, reach for the ceiling, then touch your toes and repeat. Just a minute or two stretching each hour can do wonders to protect your back.
Take a walk when you’re done. After a long day of working in the office, try to resist the urge of going home and sitting again. You’ve just been sitting for eight or nine hours, not including your commute. By standing, walking, or even lying down on your stomach, you provide your spine with a change of position.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic – The Solution for Chronic Back Pain
Before you think nothing else can help your back pain, we would like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic, a chiropractic subspecialty. What makes it unique? This is a very gentle, precise, and specialized form of chiropractic care.
This form of therapy takes a closer look at the top bone in the neck, the atlas. The atlas balances the head, and the rest of the spine will shift and compensate if this vertebra is not properly aligned. Changes and pain in your back can occur if the atlas is out of alignment by just fractions of a millimeter. Over time, the changes reach the lower back. They can be worse enough to have an impact on the SI joint or sciatic nerve. These are some of the culprits for intense lower back pain.
Upper cervical chiropractic does not involve any rapid twisting or cracking of the back and neck. Every adjustment only uses low force, which is less shocking on the body. This means the body will cooperate, and not work against the adjustment. The body will have more time to stabilize and heal, making adjustments longer-lasting. They can hold for weeks or months.
Upper cervical chiropractors are trained to discover a misalignment in the atlas. It requires precision to get the exact location and fraction of misalignment. They do it through the help of diagnostic imaging and x-rays. They will use measurements taken from this equipment to come up with a customized adjustment and care plan for patients.
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