Back pain in the office is a common discomfort for those who work either from home or with a physical presence at work. The habit of sitting for about 8 hours accelerates the onset of certain discomforts with lasting effects. Follow these three tips to help you avoid back pain caused by prolonged sitting in an office chair.
- Back pain at the office – How important are active breaks?
- Back pain at the office – Build an active routine into your time off
1. Back pain at the office – How important are active breaks?
According to statistics, 8 out of 9 people experience back pain at the office. A common cause is the habit of taking breaks only at lunch or when they have a private phone call to make. Back pain at the office becomes even more severe when the person gets into the habit of minimising movement by eating lunch in front of the laptop or dealing with phone matters from the chair.
No wonder then that at the end of the program, the feeling of a stiff back and neck occurs. But in the long run, back pain at the office becomes the ultimate problem. Sedentary lifestyles impact the whole body, from promoting cardiovascular disease, to piling on extra pounds, to raising cholesterol or blood sugar levels.
- 5 minute stretching massage
Stimulating your muscles once every 55 minutes at work is essential to make office back pain a thing of the past. This requires activating muscles and joints through sustained movement.
If your time or schedule doesn’t allow you to get out for a short walk, then set aside 5 minutes every hour and do some stretching exercises. You can even opt for a stretching massage from professional massage chairs to relax your stiff areas or relax your whole body. Massage combined with stretching exercises is a simple but effective formula for relaxing stiffness, eliminating stiffness in the back and combating muscle or joint atrophy. Plus, it gets your blood moving, energises you for the rest of the day and improves your overall condition.
- Book time off for lunch
Although most of us think of snacking in front of the laptop as normal, in reality this seemingly innocent habit accelerates back pain at the office. Perhaps for some, lunch at the desk gives the illusion that they are saving time and while eating they are also managing to accomplish their tasks.
This concept is debunked by some research which concluded that productivity was higher among employees who respected their break times, changed their environment and ate lunch away from tasks. It is also recommended to take a short walk after lunch for a smooth digestion. If this isn’t always possible, then 7-15 minutes in the relaxation massage chair is an equally beneficial solution for body and mind.
2. Back pain at the office – Build an active routine into your time off
Back pain in the office is not only caused by your work routine, but also by what you do in your free time. Activities outside of work hours influence the body’s health more than you might think. Movement should become your routine. If no particular sport appeals to you, then look for an activity that you enjoy and that recharges your batteries. This will keep you fit at all times, and you’ll always be more relaxed and fitter at work.
Try Nordic or Scandinavian walking. All you need is comfortable equipment, a couple of walking sticks and possibly some pleasant company. Nordic walking can be practised anywhere, as a hike in the mountains, a walk in the park or even on the beach. Don’t forget your trekking poles. These are important as they ensure a balanced body posture. In this way, you take advantage of the good weather, exercise in nature, socialise, stimulate lymph flow, activate the blood in the body and relax areas affected by sedentary lifestyles.
After work you can relax by taking a dance class, pilates, aerobics, zumba or any other type of light activity that will take your mind off your daily stress and also help to eliminate back pain after 8 hours at the office.