You stretch over to grab a file from your desk and then you feel it – a clicking sound followed by a sudden rush of fiery pain shooting in your lower back. Oh God, the curse of the modern workplace has finally got you, and it seems there’s no turning back now. But while this action was what set off the painful sensation, the real cause lies in your bad working habits.
The number one reason for almost 90% of back pain and joint problems lies in years of sitting in a bad chair, lack of movement and stress. Stress differs from person to person, by trying different relaxation methods you can discover what works for you. However, the other two ways to prevent back pain in the office are easy and clear-cut: get an ergonomic chair and start exercising!
Sit Straight, Cowboy
Why be a workhorse, when you can be a cowboy? The latest advance in ergonomic office equipment is the saddle chair designed specifically to promote better posture. It’s called so because its seat resembles a horse saddle and it has no back support. This chair was inspired by horse riders which are known for their upright posture and healthy musculoskeletal systems. Its aim is to trigger the same muscles in the body that horse riding does and stabilize the pelvis and spine.
Even if you might dismiss this chair because it has no backrest, this is actually its biggest advantage in keeping your body straight and pain-free. The saddle chair promotes a so-called active sitting where you use all of your muscles to balance yourself out. Sitting like this prevents you from slumping over the desk and produces the least stress for your joints and ligaments.
Active-sitting also keeps the mind more alert and focused which increases concentration and results in higher productivity rates. Not to mention how this is a wonderful way to develop and shape the core muscles on your back and abdomen. Healthy posture and good physique should go hand in hand!
And don’t worry that you’ll get tired like you would from a regular backless chair. The ergonomic seat provides ample support on the back while putting your legs at a wider angle to carry your upper body’s weight.
Don’t Forget to Move It, Move It
However, the chair alone cannot guarantee for your body’s complete well-being. You also need to get moving. For instance, during your break you can try a short workout , but even when you’re not exercising you can introduce more movement in your workplace routine.
A simple walk can be incredibly effective in combating back pain and swollen legs from sitting. For every hour of sitting walk around at least two minutes. Set an alarm to remind you to stand up and get walking. Not only will the walking move the blood flow in your legs and reduce the tension in your back, it will also clear your mind and help you refocus at the task at hand.
Try to avoid the elevator and take the stairs as often as you can. And whenever you need to ask or inform a co-worker about something, walk over to their desk instead of skyping or e-mailing them. Whatever you do, just don’t be lazy!