More and more individuals today spend most of their working hours at a desk in front of a computer. Prolonged sitting and holding the head forward in order to view a monitor screen often result in chronic neck and back pain. The Santa Monica spine surgeons at The Spine Institute recommend forming new, healthy habits and integrating ergonomic features into the workplace to help avoid lumbar and cervical discomfort.
Taking Frequent Breaks
People who get up from their chairs every 30 to 60 minutes can help relieve the constant pressure that is placed on their vertebral columns. Taking a few moments to walk around the office and stretch also helps increase blood flow to the spine. An effective way to stretch is to place the hands on the hips and gently arch the back and neck backwards.
Correct Desk Posture
While working, individuals should sit upright with their feet flat on the floor in front of them, legs uncrossed. The elbows need to remain at the sides, and the arms should be parallel to the floor when typing. Proper eye level is at the upper third portion of the monitor.
People who spend a lot of time in front of a desk are wise to invest in ergonomic furniture in order to preserve spine health. The features of a good chair include:
- A seat that adjusts to height
- A seat depth that allows the lumbar region to fit against the backrest
- Good support for the lumbar curve
- Adequate padding
- Armrests that allow the shoulders to relax
- A swivel feature that prevents straining
Maintaining Physical Fitness
It is extremely important for people who have sedentary jobs to engage in regular physical activity. Once an individual’s health care provider has given approval for exercise, he or she should focus on activities that strengthen the body’s core. Building the muscles of the upper body and abdomen is a great way to add support to the spinal column and create a strong system that acts as a barrier against injury.
If you’re experiencing chronic back pain and haven’t been able to identify the cause, reach out to Dr. Bae, a leader in non-fusion spine treatments in Santa Monica, CA. Dr. Bae can help determine the cause of your pain and discuss all possible treatment options. Call (310) 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation.