Preventing Back Pain From a Desk Job

Preventing Back Pain From a Desk Job

Preventing Back Pain From a Desk Job

Anyone who spends their days working at a desk has likely experienced back pain at some point. There has actually been an increase in the number of complaints as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and working more from home (most likely because our home desk setups aren’t exactly ergonomic). The good news is that there several things you can do to help prevent back pain, even when you have a desk job. 

Every patient and condition is different, which is why the team at Muscle Joint Bone is committed to tailoring solutions according to our patients – there is no one-size-fits-all approach here. Please contact us for more personalised advice regarding your back pain situation.


More Movement = Less Discomfort   

Our muscles and joints are made to move – not to stay in one position for extended periods. Try to make it a habit to move around and change positions during your work day (every half hour is ideal). Even better if you can get up and take a short walk. Some tips to get you moving:

  • Look into sit-stand desks, which allow you to effortlessly move between sitting and standing positions.
  • When you’re on the phone, get up and walk around. If you have a hardwired phone, look into a wireless headset.
  • Switch to sitting on a gym ball rather than a traditional office chair for part of your day.

Position Yourself for Success 

Creating an ergonomic work environment will give you the best chance at working comfortably, whether this is at home or in the office. To ensure that your desk is set up ergonomically, look at the following:

  • That your chair provides adequate lumbar support.
  • That your feet are placed flat on the floor.
  • That your knees are level with your hips (or slightly below).
  • That your computer monitor is positioned about an arm’s length away.
  • That your wrists are flat when using the keyboard (not angled upwards).
  • That your eye level hits about 5cm below the top of your monitor.
  • That your shoulders are in a relaxed position.

Don’t Forget Your Posture   

The spine has natural curves, and it’s important to maintain these even while sitting. A quality office chair really helps with this, and you can use a lumbar roll or rolled-up towel to further support your lower back. If you’ve been sitting for a while, use this exercise to loosen up and correct your posture:

  • Slump over in your chair, rounding out your spine and sticking your head forward.
  • Sit as straight as you can (arching your lower back, drawing your shoulders back, and pulling your chin in).
  • Repeat the above steps five times.
  • After the last repetition, relax your extreme upright position by about 10 to 20%, and you should be in a good seated posture.

Stretch Like You Mean It   

When you spend large portions of the day seated, it’s important that you keep your muscles and joints mobile. This can be achieved with some easy stretches – for best results, hold each for 10 to 20 seconds.

  • Drop your ear to one shoulder (until you feel a pull on the opposite side of your neck). Repeat on the other side.
  • Draw your shoulder blades together at your back.
  • Place your hands behind your head, interlocking your fingers. Stretch backward, over the top of the chair, and push your elbows back.
  • Stand up. Place your hands on your hips and bend backward as far as you can (without falling over), arching your lower back.

Add-In Low Impact Exercises  

Regular exercise can help to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, as well as increase their flexibility. Adding some low-impact exercise into your daily routine can go a long way to reduce and even prevent back pain from occurring – all you need is ten to 15 minutes.

  • Yoga and pilates are especially good, as they focus on core strength and flexibility (which can help to reduce tension and strain).
  • Walking is also beneficial – why not take a walk around the block on your lunch break?
  • Try some core exercises (like planks, crunches, sit-ups ups, leg raises, bridges, mountain climbers, hip raises, and so on).

Work a Desk Job? How Muscle Joint Bone Can Help 

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how well you look after yourself – back pain can still become a problem, particularly when your 9-5 sees you sitting at a desk all day long. The experienced team at Muscle Joint Bone is here to help you get back on track. We’ll undertake a thorough assessment of your pain and develop a tailored treatment plan that will see you return to working as comfortably as possible. Get in touch to learn more.



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