The average office worker in the United States spends nearly 2,000 hours a year in front of a computer. This doesn’t even count time spent using a PC or laptop at home. If you normally spend a lot of time in front of a screen, it could take a toll on your spine. While it’s not always possible to reduce your screen time, especially if you need to use a computer for work, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk of experiencing computer-related spine pain. Here are three tips to help you out.
If you just stick to the chair that was already at your desk, you may end up with one that’s worn or not very good for your spine. Without sufficient support, your lower back could receive added stress as you sit and use your computer, which could lead to instances of recurring or chronic back pain. If your office chair isn’t doing your spine any favors, look for one with the following features:
Bonus Tip: If possible, consider a sit-to-stand workstation that allows you to comfortably shift from a sitting to standing position throughout your workday.
Having the right office chair isn’t going to make much of a difference if you’re not being mindful of your posture as you use your computer. Get into the habit of doing regular posture checks throughout your day. Specifically, look out for instances of:
Bonus Tip: Certain ergonomically designed chairs are created in a way that naturally encourages healthy spinal alignment. This is also true of some alternative seating options, such as exercise ball chairs.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in your work that you forget to move or get up as often as you should. But sitting for extended periods puts a lot of extra stress on the same muscle groups and spinal structures, which could result in muscle strain or disc-related problems. The solution is to make an effort to shift positions frequently. An even better option for your spine is to find ways to get up and move by:
If you find yourself experiencing lingering back pain even after following the tips mentioned here, try applying heat or ice to the affected area. Getting regular exercise when you’re not in front of a computer can be helpful as well. If such efforts fail to provide relief, see your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon.
If you’re having chronic back pain related to using a computer for extended periods, it can be treated in a number of ways. The back health experts at The Spine Institute specialize in minimally invasive fusion and non-fusion procedures, including artificial disc replacement and back fusion alternatives. Los Angeles patients can rely on our team of industry-leading physicians to determine the best way to prevent and treat back pain related to sitting for long hours in front of a computer. Call one of our friendly staff members today at 310-828-7757.