When we talk about how to stop back pain naturally, and all the related problems, in general, it’s useful to take an anthropological approach. The human body evolved over the past four million years in the context of the hunter-gatherer society. In this environment work was varied and human beings performed a variety of activities, as opposed to our society, where people tend to maintain static postures for prolonged periods of time.
In the office, it’s sitting; (check out how to avoid back pain while sitting) at an assembly line it’s a static standing posture. Our ancestors didn’t stand or sit for eight hours at a time – they’d walk, pick up a baby, hunt, pick berries. We’re well adapted to that, changing position frequently. So the simple answer to “how to prevent back pain at work” is to make sure we take plenty of breaks and stretch regularly.
We’re well designed for the upright posture. We’re not well designed for the repetitive tasks and static positions of agriculture, industry, and the office. Those run counter to how the human body is ‘designed’ to function. Variety is the spice of life; it is also key to back health.
Vary tasks throughout the day. Include activities that force you to change your position: stand up, lean back, walk around, climb some stairs. Do some filing, go to the copy machine, do anything that involves walking, standing, and stretching.
How To Prevent Back Pain Exercises At Work
Change your posture. Change from sitting, to standing, to sitting whenever possible. “Desk jockeys” can set aside a surface, such as a podium or a standing desk, at a comfortable standing height (about elbow level) to do some reading, for instance. Another excellent strategy is to put the phone near that surface and, whenever it rings, take that as a cue to stand. Remember, also, that there’s more than one way to sit or stand.
Take frequent, short breaks. In terms of your back, they’re far more helpful (in many ways) than two-hour lunches. Every twenty to thirty minutes, get up and stretch muscles and joints that were in one position for an extended period of time; relax those that were active. Use a timer so you won’t forget.
People have to listen to their bodies, and respond appropriately. Don’t just follow the rules. If a chair seat is too deep for you, put a cushion behind your back; if you wear bifocals, a lower screen height might prevent you from craning your neck.
How To Stop Back Pain Fast In The Office
Most ergonomists recommend keeping your feet flat on the floor or on a foot-stool, but if your feet are more comfortable on the base of the chair, fine. It’s got to fit your body. We’re not talking about robots.
If you notice that the changes in your work-station help alleviate your aches and pains, you’ve done well. But if you feel worse, don’t give up. Try something else.
Whatever strategies you use have to not only fit your body but the task and the job demands that you have to do. The same chair that is fine for a receptionist is not going to be fine for a lawyer who’s going to be reading for long periods in a reclining position. We have to be job specific and take into account the particular needs of that person in the context of their job.