Back pain affects approximately 80% of people, whether it is acute or chronic pain. Back pain is particularly common in sitting occupations where we are constantly loading the spine. At PHYSIO4ALL we have concerns that an ever increasing amount of office workers are getting back/neck pain due to poor workplace ergonomics and sitting for much too long.
The Spine and Sitting
Our spine is made of 24 interlinked vertebrae divided into cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Spinal discs provide the cushioning in between the vertebrae to prevent them from pushing against each other. When we sit our spine has to support the load of our upper body. The ideal ‘s’ shaped curve that makes a good standing posture needs to be maintained while sitting.
However, maintaining this position is difficult if you have a sedentary job. With long periods of sitting our spinal discs lose fluid and narrow, which leads to stiffness and thus are more susceptible to trauma. We lose 10% of disc height in the first two hours of sitting. This is accelerated with poor sitting posture. You can find more information on the possible consequences at https://kokorugs.com.
Here are some tips for your ergonomics:
- Feet firmly on the floor or use a foot rest
- Monitor at eye level
- Sit against the back of the chair
- Hips and knee should be angled at 90-100 degrees
- Keep your keyboard, mouse and/or phone close to your body
How to reduce pressure in your discs:
- Get up regularly when sitting – every 30/40 mins
- Perform daily decompression exercise (see attached video)
- Maintain a strong core strength, Pilates is great for this
- Ensure the ergonomics at your work station are correct
- Use tactics to make good posture easy (ask us how)
Check out these great videos!
For some great posture exercises, check out these videos:
If you would like any advice regarding your posture or workstation ergonomics, or about any of our services, please call us on 9922 2212 or email us on [email protected]