How many hours do you sit in a day? If you have a white collar job, chances are you’re spending up to 8 hours a day on your seat. With time, you may begin experiencing back and neck pain whose frequency and intensity increase as the days go by. If left unattended, they can turn into a health condition which will need medical intervention. So, it is advisable to take precautions before that happens.
Before you consider any measures, it is important to ascertain that the pains are being caused by long sitting hours and not any other cause. The key signal is that the pain comes after a routine day in the office. You’re likely to have a dull ache begin in the afternoon and increase as time goes by. Once you change position, the pains disappear, albeit temporarily.
This neck and back pain can also be experienced when you have a new office chair.
Change your sitting Posture
Since there’s hardly any alternative to sitting when working in the office, you have to find a position that does not cause strain. An ergonomic chair goes a long way in making you comfortable and strain-free. The back of the chair is curved to support the natural structure of your back. Lean your back against these features. Avoid the common habit of stooping forward when you sit. If you’re hunching in order to view the computer screen, adjust it to eye level or get glasses to correct your eyesight.
Sitting straight is a daunting task for most people. You may be advised have someone stick masking tape on your back when you’re sitting straight. Whenever you crouch, the tape pinches and reminds you to resume the correct posture.
If your workplace does not provide ergonomic chairs, you can buy one for yourself. You can even turn a normal chair into an ergonomic one by adding back and neck support pieces which can be sold separately. It is a worthy investment for your health.
You can also alternate sitting on your office chair with sitting on a stability/balance ball, those large ones used in exercising. Since the ball is not straight, you have to push your shoulders back and your pelvis forward to maintain balance; just the right posture.
Avoid unbalanced postures which you settle on subconsciously that can increase pain and discomfort. They include tilting the head, crossing legs unevenly, leaning on one side or hunching the shoulders.
Reduce Sitting Hours
Avoid sitting continuously for several hours. Get up and stretch at least every 2 hours. Check on a colleague, go to the washroom, and take a walk. While you are at it, ensure that you’re in comfortable shoes. Adding the strain of high heels to that of sitting for long hours will only make matters worse. Choose stable shoes that distribute the weight on your feet evenly.
Beyond the temporary aches and stiff joints, prolonged sitting hours can have long-term health impacts. A severe backache is one of them. Such a backache does not subside when you get up from your seat, but continues to affect you even when standing, walking, bending or lying down. This point to spinal cord defects. They can be treated in a number of ways including drugs, injections, surgery or even stem cell therapy. What is a stem cell? You must be wondering.
These are the body’s natural builders and can be transferred from one healthy part of the body to the affected one.
What is the point of working for years only to be sick when you should be enjoying the fruits of your labour? Make these adjustments now and safeguard your health.