It is not secret that sitting all day at the office can have an effect on your back pain. Ergonomically, your body was just not meant to hold a sitting shape for such long periods of time. Squatting is arguably the better option when it comes to managing back pain. That being said, it is unlikely that this will be something that you will adopt in the workplace. Fortunately, there are numerous other options that can help you eliminate the back pain that comes from sitting. Here are a few options that will leave your back feeling noticeably better throughout the day.
Stretch Before Work
When you spend all day in a chair, you hip flexors get shorter and tighter. Tight hip flexors pull on your low back. This causes everything from mild discomfort to full-blown back pain. Make a point of stretching for 20 minutes every morning before work. Better yet, sign up for a yoga class and get a full hour of stretching in. Not only will moving the body wake you up and hone your focus, stretching will medicate tight hips. Chances are if your hip flexors are tight, then other parts of your hips are tight too. A morning stretch will delay the stiffness that comes from sitting in a chair all day.
Move Before Work
If stretching is not your thing, do some other form of physical activity before you rock up to the office. Warming up the body will also help the muscles to relax. If you already have back pain, it is best to do low-impact activities. Things such as swimming, walking and cycling. Running and some forms of weightlifting can aggravate your back if you already have a preexisting condition. However, you choose to move, still try to throw in a few hip-stretching lunges and quad stretches at the end of your workout.
Sit on a Pillow
There are a ton of products available on the market that are designed to help people with back pain who sit all day. These specially designed pillows work by allowing your hips to tilt forward. This anterior tilt of the pelvis frees up the hip flexors. This, in turn, takes pressure off your low back. Some pillows have an opening or indent in them to allow your coccyx and sacrum to hang freely. Not having pressure at the base of your spine reduces the spinal pressure that comes from sitting all day.
Take Regular Breaks from Sitting
Whenever you can, get up and move around the office. If you are on a call, find somewhere that is quiet where you can move around. If you are able to go for a mini walk every couple of hours, try to do that. You will probably find that you are more focused when you return to your desk. When you have your lunch break, make a point of walking for at least 20 minutes. These regular standing breaks will prevent your hip and back muscles from getting stiff.
Stay Standing While You Work
Sitting all day, regardless of how much you move around, might be the main cause of your back pain. If this is the case, consider standing while you work. This allows your hip flexors to release fully. As another option, you can alternate between sitting and standing. If you are going to be standing all day, make sure you are wearing shoes with good arch support. Keep your knees micro bent so that you are not locking out your knee joints. This can add pressure to the back. You will probably find that standing not only helps with your back pain, it keeps you alert and productive.
Why You Need to Deal With Your Back Pain Now
There is no doubt that back pain from sitting all day at the office is uncomfortable. More than that, back pain decreases productivity and can make it difficult to focus. Chronic back pain can make you irritable and decrease feelings of satisfaction with the work that you are doing. By dealing with your back pain now, you are setting yourself up for a more successful enjoyable career. It may take some time to figure out what your back needs when you spend time sitting every day. However, it will be worth the effort in the end. So deal with your back pain now and have a pain-free workday, every day.