How to avoid lower back pain in a sitting job?

Back pain
Back pain

Are you a regular office goer and suffering from lower back pain | Lower back issues are very common these days and numbers are on a rise especially amongst the people who are involved in a sitting job with long working hours. Our jobs and careers demand us to be in front of desktop or laptop more often than any other activity. If you are a regular office goer and suffering from lower back pain, this article may be of help to you, as we shall be discussing the reasons, precautions to avoid lower back stress.

Let’s dig into bit deeper and find out the reasons which lead to stress on lower back:

  • Bad seating position on office chair – People sit wrongly for long and continuous periods which builds up the lower back stress. Remember our body can tolerate staying in one position for 20-25 mins at one go. Another thing is, people generally sit on the front of the chair ignoring the back support provided in the chair which ultimately leads to stress. Apart from this, people also ignore adjusting chair level as per desktop height and don’t maintain a proper distance from desktop leading to awkward sitting position at times.
  • No rest intervals leading to muscle & joints stress – Job life is so demanding these days that people get little time for look after their own health. When we keep working on our laptops with no regular interval of rest in between, our joints and muscle start feeling the stress due to tension which builds up staying in one position, naturally our body is not meant for that. Lower back muscle plays major role while in a seated position compared to other muscle group, so ultimately it has to bear the brunt too.
  • Sedentary lifestyle leading to weight-gain – We all will agree that we get little time going to gym or in a park on regular basis where we can actually strengthen our muscle and joints. At times we pay the hefty gym fees still not able to visit it even for a month regularly. Also, mental stress at job acts as a barrier to this, most of the time we feel really drained out. Binge eating during late evenings, office parties at weekends, lot of processed/outside foods etc. combined with no major physical activity on daily basis works as perfect combination of weight-gain. Weight-gain just not increases the stress on your muscles and joints but if not controlled in time may lead to health problems like Type-2 diabetes, High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, heart problems etc.

Now, we have covered major reasons which actually lead to lower back issues and may pose a health risk in long-term too. Let’s understand how we can manage or prevent this:

  • Rectify your seating position – Few pointers to keep in mind in order to improve your sitting position:
  • Keep your back straight and lower back rested on the chair support, don’t lean forward on your desk.
  • Try and use ergonomic chair or in simple words chairs which can be adjusted through levers. This will help you adjust it according to your height.
  • Make sure top of your desktop screen is at eye level or just below.
  • Also, monitor/laptop shall be roughly arm’s length away. Adjust position as such there is minimal bend of the wrists while typing on keyboard.
  • Make sure front of your seat shall not press back of your knees as it may restrict the blood flow leading to stress.
  • Feets shall be placed flat on ground or you can use a footrest too.
  • Take small rest intervals – Try and walk towards water dispenser, have a glass of water, stretch yourself a bit and then start with your work again. Make sure you perform this ritual in every 25-30 mins. This small activity will help release tension and stress from your muscle and joints. Make sure you take a walk in office compound or park alongside after your lunch break, take staircase while coming back to your set if possible. Also, continuous looking at screen leads dry eyes, make sure you close/blink them for few seconds after every few minutes.
  • Get active and eat smartly – We understand how difficult it is to take out time but remember what’s the use of earning money, if all of it has to be utilized paying doctor’s bill at a later age? And it’s an old saying, health is wealth. If you don’t have time to join a gym, start with home workouts, there are lots of home workout mobile apps available these days to help you start with. Start with the easiest level progressing to a harder one over a period of time. These body-weight workouts can easily be performed in a room or balcony or terrace without any equipment so, make use of it. Or if you are park lover, make sure you take out at least 30 mins daily early in the morning or at late nights for brisk walk or jogs or performing body-weight exercises. Control your cravings, drink a glass of water just before lunch or dinner, it will help you eat in a controlled manner. Know your daily calories through fitness apps, prepare home food in advance and eat accordingly. Physical activity with a calculated diet can help save your life actually so, eat wisely.

At the end, I would say prevention is always better than cure so, don’t be a one who look for excuses, be a starter, as small steps at the start leads to a beautiful journey at the end!

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About the Author : Lucky Gaur is an INFS Certified Fitness and Nutrition Consultant and a Diploma holder  in Naturopathy & Yogic Science, All India Nature Cure Federation. The views expressed in the article are his personal. 

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