If Your Back Hurts All the Time, You May Need to Change How You're Sitting
Make sure your back doesn't hurt all the time.
In today's working world, we sit in front of computers a lot. Many offices have instituted ergonomics policies in order to prevent their workers from getting hurt (and ultimately avoiding worker's compensation lawsuits). However, it is very difficult to figure out a way to prevent injuries that result from repetitive movements your work entails, well, repetitive movements. If you work from home, it is even harder to prevent it. Here are some helpful tips for preventing injuries in your own workplace.
- Keep your body in alignment. What does this mean? Try to make sure that your back is straight when you sit in your chair and that your hips are directly under your spine.
- Wiggle! Make sure to move around. Your muscles will get lazy and put pressure on your joints. It is important to change positions and to occasionally get up and walk around.
- Exercise. In addition to improving your overall health and helping you maintain a healthier psyche, regular exercise can help prevent injury.
- Be an elephant. Don't actually be an elephant. But remember like one! It is important to maintain good posture habits at all times. Whenever you do anything, such as lift something, pick up something from the floor, clean, or simply watch TV, remember your posture. Keep your lower belly tight as often as possible to take some of the pressure off of your back. Maintaining good posture habits will also help you prevent injury from repetitive motion.
- Pay attention to warning signs. Shooting pains that go through your spine and to your extremities can be a sign of injury or potential injury. Also, pain that goes away when you reposition can mean that you have some sort of injury from repetition. Headaches are also a sign of overworking your eyes.
- Look away! Staring at a computer screen all day can be very rough on the eye muscles. At least once per hour, try to to look away for a minute or two. Focus on something outside that is within 50 feet or so, then focus on something further away. It relaxes your eye muscles and helps prevent headaches and too much eye strain.
- As always, do your research! Check the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) website for ergonomic solutions. They have a list of problem areas and some other interactive tools to help you troubleshoot.
Your health is an important part of your life and happiness, so make sure to take care of yourself. You spend a lot of time at work, so it is vital to protect yourself there. Work smart so you can continue to work hard!