The New Year is upon us and that means back to early morning wake up calls and back to the grind! But if you work in an office, getting through your January workload may be the least of your problems. According to our chiropractor in Southend, an office is one of the riskiest places for picking up a back injury. Hunching over a computer all day is a leading reason why 80% of people develop back pain at some point during their lives. But a few simple changes in the way you work can significantly reduce your risk of developing a painful back injury.
Here’s what to do when you return to the office this January (after sobbing by the water cooler for ten minutes, of course!):
1: Avoid leaning forward at your computer. Focus on aligning your head and neck directly above your shoulders.
2. Move your mouse closer to you. Ideally, your mouse should be right next to your keyboard to ensure you don’t overreach and twist when you’re clicking away.
3: Make sure your office chair has a good lumbar support for your lower back. You should also tilt the back of your chair so that it very slightly reclines.
4: As you work away at your desk, focus on breathing from your tummy. As you inhale, draw your naval towards your spine. This will help to engage the core muscles that support the upper body.
5: Make sure your torso is no more than about an arm’s length away from your computer screen. This should also be 2-3 inches above eye level.
6: While sitting at your desk, keep your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Not only will this position help your spine, but it will also help to ease tension in your knees and ankles.
7: Try and keep your knees bent at a 90 degree angle when you’re sitting at your desk. With your knees directly over your ankle, your spine will remain comfortably upright.
8: However heavy your workload, make sure you get up at least once an hour – even if it is just to go to the bathroom or to do some shoulder rolls. Moving around and changing position will help to boost your circulation and reduce pressure on your spine. The result? You’ll be more flexible and less stressed!
Our team of experienced chiropractors at Cliffs have developed a programme specifically to help you called Back to Business. There are six simple exercises you can incorporate into a daily routine which are really easy to do, especially in the confines of an office. If you can make them a part of your daily routine, you’ll be alleviating all those symptoms associated with lack of movement while improving your overall sense of wellbeing at the same time. We’ve created a series of videos for you to follow so be sure to check them out here.
Returning to work after December’s festivities can be painful enough without picking up a crippling back injury too! Follow these golden rules to keep your back safe at the office this year!