Work can be a pain in more ways than one. Adding back, neck, and shoulder pain to the existing stress of your job only makes things worse.
While a desk may seem like just a desk, it’s actually somewhere you’re spending a large portion of your time. How you sit and support your spine during the time at your desk makes a big difference in your overall spinal health. If you’ve found yourself complaining of a sore back or stiff neck after a long day’s work, ask yourself, “Is it me or my desk?” If it’s the latter, use these five tips to build a better workspace that supports your spine from the bottom up:
1. Perfect Your Posture
Even if you pull out all the latest gadgets that promise to create an ergonomic workspace, you’ll still suffer if your posture is poor. When you’re sitting at your desk, notice how your legs, feet, hands, and neck naturally fall. Then, use these tips to correct your posture:
- Press your shoulders against the back of your chair
- Don’t slouch or roll your shoulders forward.
- Rest your arms lightly on your chair’s armrests and aim for a 90 degree angle at your elbow.
- Avoid crossing your legs, and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Don’t tense your neck or shoulders – try to mindfully relax them while typing or writing.
2. Invest In The Right Pieces
Once you nail down healthy posture habits, you can improve the ergonomics of your desk with a few select pieces. The first piece you want to invest in is a good chair. To increase blood flow, reduce fatigue, and minimize risk of neck or back injury, look for a chair that provides you with good lumbar support and offers flexibility to recline. Ideally, you’ll also be able to adjust the height of the chair as needed and swivel the chair when you need to switch tasks.
The next option to look into is a desk – but not just any desk.
3. Consider a Convertible Desk
A desk should do more than just hold your laptop and prop up your arms while you work. Part of the problem with standard desks is that they promote all-day sitting, which isn’t good for anyone. Convertible desks can transform from standard desks to standing desks in an instant, and then go back to standard height whenever you’re ready. They encourage standing breaks and get the blood flowing through your body.
Sit/stand desks can come at a price, but if you’re looking at an indefinite WFH situation, it’s worth the investment for your health.
4. Adjust Your Computer
Like most modern workers, you likely spend the majority of your time on the computer. Adjusting your computer station in small ways can make for a more comfortable, productive workday:
- Tilt your keyboard down and move it slightly further away to promote healthy wrist support
- Keep your mouse as close to the body as possible.
- Aim to place your screen at eye-level. This may require a computer stand to lift it from the desk.
- Consider an external monitor and mouse when relying on a laptop.
5. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
Water breaks and bathroom breaks are important – so are spine breaks. These short breaks offer your spine a chance to stretch and release any tension that has built up after a long work session. Get up, stretch a bit, walk around, take a few breaths, and then return to your project.
You Can’t Out-Work A Bad Spine
If you struggle with back pain while working, don’t fall under the false assumption that you can out-work your pain and it will go away on its own. While the above tips can create a more productive, healthy workspace, they won’t fix any spine issues that are already present.
If you’ve been quietly suffering through your back pain, contact the experts at Sea Change Wellness Chiropractic to schedule a chiropractic or massage therapy appointment and get back to feeling healthy and strong sooner.Get in touch.