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Workplace Ergonomics and Your Back

By Randi Morse 

We've come a long way from our Neanderthal ancestors. Where our daily lives used to focus on gathering food and fending off predators, it now focuses on turning in that report on time and trying to find that perfect family/work/life balance. The drastic change in circumstances means that our bodies, which evolved to help us hunt and gather and defend, are now not in optimal shape to handle our more sedentary lifestyle. It is because of this fact that many people discover they have back and neck issues.  

Your Sore Back 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that 31 percent of injuries and musculoskeletal disorders reported in 2015 occurred due to workplace injuries. While it may seem like your body is in the safest place it can be, in an office, the sedentary nature of the job brings its own headaches and issues. Research that has been done recently has discovered that those of us who sit for a long amount of time without moving and stretching can put ourselves at risk for long-term health issues. This includes musculoskeletal disorders. It also makes sense that the more you sit at your desk, the more apt you are to deal with back pain.  

Why does sitting at a desk cause so many issues? Think about how your office desk is set up. How often do you find yourself slouching? It's an easy habit to get into. Who wants to keep their posture perfect for eight hours a day? Is your monitor at eye level or do you have to strain your neck to look up or down at it? Do you find yourself crossing your legs or ankles regularly to get comfortable? This can cause serious hip misalignment problems.  

An Ergonomic Fix 

There are some great tips that you can use to help prevent back problems caused by the workplace before they even occur. First, you need to practice neutral posture. Make sure that your monitor is at the level of your eyes. You don't want your head having to tilt up or down or even to the side. This more natural positioning helps relieve strain on the neck. You should be able to put your feet flat on the ground while keeping your back flat against the back of your chair. If you can't sit this way comfortably, ask your office about ergonomic support systems that can be put in place to help alleviate the strain on your body. 

These are great tips to help you prevent pain, but what if your back is already in pain? If you find that you're dealing with back pain due to your office workstation, a trip to The Joint could be just what the doctor ordered. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arlington, Tex.  

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