No matter how strong we are and how invincible we feel multitasking in the house, with kids and at work, our body can feel the tension from all of that.
Even simply sitting, driving, standing or sleeping with a wrong posture can cause back pain in the long run. If you’re like me and sit in front of a computer for a big part of the day, you’ll know that posture plays a major role in our body’s health. Fortunately, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are easy to control and are not difficult to change.
After doing some research about it and testing theories myself for a couple of months, here you’ll find my top ways to prevent and fix back pain without too much effort.
1. Adjust your computer monitor
Your height in relation to the monitor is crucial. Having too high of a monitor can force your neck to overextend and causes some of the joints to compress, leading to strain in the neck. To figure out the optimal height for both your monitor and your chair, first figure out how high your chair should be. Your chair should be low enough to the ground that the highest part of the seat is just below the kneecap. Your feet should touch the ground and your legs should be at a 90-degree angle. To adjust your monitor, position it so the top of the screen is just below eye level.
2. Stretch at your desk
Working out at your desk without looking silly is hard. Luckily, there’s a stretch for that. Totally helps with my sides. Introducing the torso twist stretch:
- Inhale and exhale slowly, turn to the right and grab the back of your chair with your right hand, and grab the arm of the chair with your left.
- Use your grasp on the chair to help twist your torso around as far to the back of the room as possible. Hold the twist and let your back continue the stretch
- See which one is the further point in the room you can look at.
- Keep the position for 15 seconds and slowly come back to facing forward.
- Repeat on the other side.
3. Sit up, back straight
This isn’t just something your mother told you to annoy you — it’s actually solid advice. Make sure your back is straight and is leaning into the cushion of your seat. Keep your feet flat on the floor to keep the rest of your body straight. Keep your legs at a 90-degree angle in relation to the rest of your body.
4. Lift with your legs
There might be a few times at work where you’ll have to life something heavy — perhaps a ream of paper or some office supplies. To lift something correctly, start by squatting on the floor with your back straight. Grab the object from either side, being careful your grip is as even as possible. Once you’ve ensured you have a good grip, drive your feet into the floor and exert pressure on your legs to lift. The object you are lifting will still be heavy, but your legs are stronger than your back, which means you’ll be able to lift the object easier with a stronger muscle. You’ll be straining less and put less stress on your back, which has much weaker muscles than your legs.
5. Chest out (but not too far out)
Here’s another good advise we’ve all heard more than once: Keep your chest out.
Keeping your chest out and opening up your shoulders will put less stress on your back. Your back should be straight, but your chest should not be overextended. You’ll even feel better mentally too: Studies show good posture is related to higher confidence.
6. Don’t stress
Believe it or not, one of the main causes of back pain is stress. Stress tenses your muscles up, which can explain why your back muscles are always aching. Once I learned this, meditation and breathing became all that more important. You’ll be surprised at how much of your mental and physical pain goes away if you just breathe.
How do you deal with back pain? Leave a comment below!