Desk Habits for a Healthy Back

Whether you work from home or in an office, most of your day is probably consumed by looking at a computer. Maybe, you get to stroll to the conference room and sit in a meeting for a few hours. You might even get a free second to fix a snack. But, 90% of your day is likely spent in a chair. It’s very possible that you’re even reading this from a desk chair! 

As working from home or jobs from a computer are becoming more common, the advancements in chair design and advanced ergonomics have helped keep us more comfortable as we sit at our desk. But, even the most expensive, most advanced chair can’t overcome the negative impact that sitting most of your day can have on your back.  

First, let’s talk about the danger of sitting for the bulk of your day. It has been discovered that women who sit for 11 or more hours a day saw a 12% increase in their risk of death. These risks include back and spine injury, bone deterioration, leg circulation disorders, and colon cancer. Being sedentary can lead to cardiovascular disease and obesity.  But, the solutions to sitting are easy. Incorporating these simple techniques can help take the strain off of your back throughout the day and help prevent pain and stress on your spine.  

Consider a new desk

Look at switching out a traditional desk for an adjustable one that can be used both sitting and standing. The alternative to sitting all day is not standing all day, but taking breaks from sitting. An adjustable desk can give you the option to stand for a period of time to break up being seated for hours at a time. 

Get creative with moving around

If it’s not in the budget for a new desk, make sure you are taking regular breaks to stand up and stretch those legs. Schedule a walking meeting with colleagues in your office. If you are on the phone, take it wirelessly and walk around. Make sure you are getting enough water and walk to refill your glass every hour. Opt to park a little farther away than usual. Take the stairs when you can. Take a break for some office yoga. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you are giving your body a break from sitting every 30 minutes to an hour.

Sit properly

For most jobs, sitting at a desk or sitting in a meeting cannot be avoided. But, when you are sitting, remind yourself of your posture to help relieve too much stress on your spine. Avoid slouching your shoulders. Try to keep your computer’s monitor at eye level so you don’t strain your neck.  

If you can’t stand, stretch

Walking around may not always be plausible or feasible. If you are tied to your cubicle, you can incorporate these “deskercises” to stretch and warm up those muscles when a standing break isn’t in the cards. Reach up to the ceiling, roll your shoulders a few times, etc. In an optimal world, we have the perfect balance of sitting and standing breaks. However, we know that if you are a desk warrior, sometimes you are bound to sitting for hours at a time. If you are able to incorporate a few of these healthy habits, your back, and your body will thank you. We’re always happy to talk to you if you have questions about how you can keep your back healthy at your desk! Feel free to reach out at any time!