Spending all day hunched over a desk is hardly what nature intended for our backs. Sitting there staring at a laptop day after day after day can take its toll if you’re not careful. Back problems can lead to pain, discomfort, loss of mobility, and disability. But a desk job does not need to spell doom for your spine and your posture as long as you take some simple but important steps to keep your back healthy.
Here are four easy ways for office workers to safeguard their spinal health.
Remember how your mom and teachers would constantly tell you to “Sit up straight”? Turns out they were right. Despite their name, “laptops” are better used on a desk if you want to avoid damage to your spine. That’s not to say you can never put it on your lap; just limit it to 20 minutes or less each time.
Whenever you’re working at your desk, try to keep your feet firmly planted on the floor and keep your elbows by your side so your arms form an L-shape at the elbow joint.
Invest In a Good Chair
People spend money on a high-quality bed because they spend a lot of time in it every single day and a better bed means better sleep. Similarly, given how much time you spend every week sitting at your desk, you should invest in a high-quality ergonomic chair.
Purchase an easily adjustable chair so you can change the height, tilt, and back position. Adjust the settings such that your knees are just lower than your hips while you’re sitting. Set the height so your wrists and forearms are straight and level with the floor while you are using your keyboard. Not only will this help your posture, but it can also minimize the chances of developing a repetitive stress injury.
Set Up Your Desk
How you arrange and position the basics of your desk – your computer, keyboard, monitor, and mouse – play significant roles in whether you will have good posture as you work.
Getting an external mouse and keyboard will allow your wrists to sit in a natural position while clicking and typing, regardless of where you put your laptop screen on your desk. Place your keyboard directly in front of you, keeping it about four to six inches from the front of your desk so your wrists can rest when you’re not typing.
As for your screen/monitor, it should be directly in front of you, not off to the sides unless it is necessary because you work with multiple monitors.
Give Yourself a Break
Don’t sit in the same position for eight hours straight without getting up. Take frequent short breaks (about once an hour) throughout the day to stand up or walk around your office or home so your back muscles get some relief. Additionally or alternatively, do some simple stretches while at your desk, such as stretching your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs.
Living With Back Pain? Schedule an Appointment at OrthoMiami Today.
At OrthoMiami, we are committed to using the most advanced and effective methods to relieve pain, repair joints, and restore mobility to patients suffering from a wide range of injuries and conditions, including back problems. The OrthoMiami team always welcomes new patients and can generally schedule new patient appointments within a couple of days.
If you are dealing with injuries from a fall, please contact us today at (305) 596-2828 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting you.