Desk jobs seem to define the millennial age. As more and more jobs go online, computers are becoming the normal way that we get our work done and interact with colleagues and clients. Sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day is the norm. Along with lower back pain can come tightness in the neck, wrist pain, and a lack of mobility experienced when getting back into the swing of daily life.
Along with this seemingly comfortable occupation style comes aches and pains that come with lack of movement. Using this quick guide and easy pointers, you will be able to reduce the amount of back pain you feel from sitting at your desk.
Adjust your chair and monitor the proper heights
You are going to be spending a lot of time sitting at your desk; we all know the feeling. Do yourself a favor, and don’t spend it sitting in a chair that is too low or staring at a monitor that isn’t adjusted to fit your height. You will end up hurting yourself and creating pain that is unnecessary.
When your chair is not the right height for your desk, you are going to be hunching over and bending your neck to get a look at the screen angle. This is going to wreak havoc over time on the structures of these areas, causing a lot of stiffness and pain. Aside from just aches and pains, you can experience eyestrain, too.
Having issues? Try this nifty tool from Erogotron that can help you plan out your workspace depending on your height.
Do what feels comfortable for your shoulders, back, and arms.
You want to sit in a chair so that you can sit with your shoulders back and relaxed. Sit up tall and try to have it where your forearms are flat with the floor. You shouldn’t be reaching up to the keyboard or shrugging your shoulders forward.
Pick a good chair
A good (or bad) chair can go a long way in either direction. If you are sitting in a bad chair, you can often notice the pain coming after just a few minutes. Office chairs that are cheap or uncomfortable, however, are not always so obvious. The pain they cause can come over a long period of time and very gradually, making it hard to pinpoint the cause.
Spending a little bit extra on a good chair or asking for the money from your boss to buy one can be very beneficial. You don’t have to buy a Herman Miller, there are a ton of chairs in a lower price range that will do just fine.
There have been some major advancements in office furniture that have come about with the desk job becoming the norm. Take advantage!
What is the right height for a desktop monitor?
If you sit at a laptop at work, you likely spend your time hunched over a tiny little screen and a trackpad. If you work on a desktop or monitor hooked up to the laptop, you are better off, but still could use a little help optimizing your desktop positioning to reduce neck pains.
You want the height of your monitor to be high enough so that you can look straight ahead and see your monitor. You should not have to look left, right, up, or down. Keeping your neck unnatural positions for long timespans will lead to pain and stiffness.
You’ve likely felt this and blamed it on sleeping the wrong way. The body was made to sleep. The body, believe it or not, was not designed for looking at a computer screen! We need to help our body in order to reduce the pain we feel.
They make tons of good stands for desktop monitors or you can do it yourself with a textbook or 2 placed under your monitor for the DIY approach.
Get up and move around
This one seems obvious, but tons of people don’t do it enough. Take a walk!
Don’t spend your 8-10 hours a day sitting with the occasional lunch break. Try to take a little bit of time out of every hour to just stand and do a few quick stretches. It will keep your body activated and help it burn some calories, too.
In an upcoming post, we will go over some office exercises that can help you reduce the pain you feel.
Thanks for reading!