It is not uncommon for many of us to suffer from backaches because of long hours at the desk in front of computers. Backaches can cause not only discomfort and pain, but if left untreated, they can become chronic, affect other parts of our body like legs, arms and so on, and reduce our ability to work efficiently, amongst other things. But with cutthroat competition and ambition, many of us find ourselves chained to our desks. With just a little time management, a sound investment in the proper equipment and a change of habit, backaches can be a thing of the past. Here are some tips to not only ease, but avoid backaches altogether.
1. Avoid Hunching Over Your Computer
The main reason most of us complain of backaches is we hunch over our computers. This bad posture results in straining of our back. Long uninterrupted hours in this position put a strain on our spine, which is one of the leading causes of backaches. This could be because of habit or improper seating. Hunching over the desk or computer continuously over time should be avoided at all costs.
2. Align Your Body Properly
Make a conscious effort to align your body - head and neck above your shoulders to avoid straining forward in an unnatural pose. Measure the distance from the computer screen to your torso. The ideal distance is an arm’s length and about three inches above the eye level. Keep your feet firmly and flatly on the ground spacing them at about shoulder width.
3. Change The Position Of Your Mouse
Bring your computer mouse close to you, just next to your keyboard. This helps you to avoid constant overreaching or twisting your arm, shoulder or wrist while you work at the computer. Twisting your arm or shoulder builds up tension in your body which in turn, affects your back.
4. Choose Your Chair Well
Many of us are content with plush chairs without checking proper support. Pick a chair that supports your back in a straight position. One that allows your lower back to rest with a support is ideal. If you do not have the option to choose or buy your own office chair, you can choose to opt for good orthopedic seat cushions. These cushions have been designed scientifically to provide support your lower back thus, eliminating backaches and spinal stress. Any naturopathic clinic can vouch for the importance of a good chair and therefore this is a wise investment to make.
5. Take Frequent Breaks from Your Desk
It may not be possible for everyone to take frequent breaks at the workplace. Stand up and walk around at least once an hour. Visit the coffee machine; go to the bathroom or water cooler at regular intervals. If you have a deadline or cannot leave your work station for some reason, do some shoulder rolls instead. Do not jerk your body. Smoothly roll your shoulders slowly in a clockwise movement a few times and repeat anti-clockwise. This not only reduces the pressure on your spine, it also encourages blood circulation and releases stress.
The need for proper exercise cannot be stressed enough. Take out some time daily to stretch your body and work those muscles. Yoga is one of the best exercises. It is low impact and when done properly, helps relieve backaches and keeps your body supple. If you go to the gym, avoid jerking up heavy weights. Ask your instructor of fitness coach to demonstrate the correct way to train or exercise. Always seek medical advice from your doctor if you are already suffering from backaches or any medical condition before taking up exercise.
Not all of us can avoid long hours at the office or workplace and time is at a premium. However, if you follow these tips, you can reduce backaches considerably or avoid them altogether. Do not ignore backaches. Seek medical help if the pain persists and also if you suffer from other symptoms like fever.
Prevention is the key.