12 Quick Steps to Adjust Sitting and Avoid Back Pain
By Sandy Schroeder
If you sit in front of a computer every day, all day, you have an 80 percent chance of winding up with severe back pain at some point in your life, according to Cornell University and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health.
Their researchers say the way we slouch and hunch at our desk creates the problem. Health.com suggests 12 simple steps to help avoid back pain.
Get the right chair – Look for an adjustable chair to give you a custom fit. Make sure there is lower back and upper shoulder support. Sit up straight and tilt the chair back slightly to take pressure off the spine.
Avoid forward head positions – Keep your head centered over your spine with your shoulders back to avoid hunching over the keyboard.
Square up shoulders – Roll them back and down, positioning them over the hips.
Reel in your mouse – Place it close to your keyboard to avoid stretching too far or twisting your wrist, arm or shoulders.
Check your distance – Make sure you are within arm’s reach of the monitor, which should be at eye level.
Do a foot check – Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and about 12 inches apart to reduce tension in ankles and knees.
Position knees – Keep knees at a 90 degree angle, directly over ankles to keep the spine comfortable and straight. Allow three to four inches from the back of the knee to the edge of the chair.
Breathe right – Each time you inhale pull your belly button toward your spine to engage the core muscles and upper body.
Use headsets – Avoid cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder. Use a speakerphone or headset.
Avoid crossed legs – You throw your spine off center and risk blocking blood flow, creating varicose veins.
Give your eyes a break – If you are working on a laptop consider attaching a separate larger monitor and keyboard. Also use a larger font if needed.
Take hourly breaks – If you keep a water bottle on your desk you can stay hydrated and almost guarantee you will be up for regular breaks.
As you put these steps in play to make them automatic, you may notice the difference with less back pain twinges and a more comfortable working session.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in North Richland Hills, Tex.