Woman at desk with back pain

You’ve experienced it before.

The shooting pain in your lower back, the tight shoulder muscles, and the stiff neck that gets worse as you try to meet an urgent deadline.

Unfortunately, back pain in the workplace is common, and shouldn’t be ignored. Work related back pain is often a sign that either your environment or your posture and movements should change. Age, desk setup, stress load and the type of manual tasks you engage in all play a huge role in your back health. But at the end of the day, no matter how successful or passionate you are, your health matters most.

Did you know?

Back pain is the #1 work related injury. Hunching over a computer is one of the main reasons that four out of five women end up with back pain at some point in their lives.

Keep your back healthy at work

Here are some ways to reduce the risk of back and neck pain:

  • Sit within reach
    Your torso should be about an arm’s length away from the monitor, which should be 2 to 3 inches above eye level.
  • Pick the right chair
    Pick an adjustable chair that allows your lower back to rest against a lumbar support. Then tilt the back of the chair so it’s very slightly reclined.
  • Keep your mouse close
    Ideally, it should be placed right next to your keyboard so you don’t overreach or twist your shoulder, arm, or wrist when clicking.
  • Take breaks
    No deadline is worth an injury. Getting up at least once an hour—to go to the bathroom or just do some shoulder rolls—reduces pressure on spinal disks and boosts circulation. Payoff: you’ll be more limber and less stressed.

Exercises/Stretches to help alleviate your back pain at work

  • Straighten up
    Standing tall, feet together, align your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
    Pull your belly button in towards your spine.
  • Twist and sway
    Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart and gently rotate your core from side to side.
    Let your arms flop loosely and shift your weight from knee to knee, breathing calmly for 15 seconds.
  • Shake it out
    Shake limbs loosely for 15 seconds on each side.
Dr. Anil Kaushal

Dr. Anil Kaushal


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