Are you experiencing back pain during your 9-5? It could be time to de-stress your desk! Office workers are among the most likely individuals to experience neck and back pain during the working day.   After a long day of meetings or mountains of work to plough through, it can be easy to dismiss a dull backache and continue to adopt bad posture habits. Did you know however, that sedentary sitting for prolonged periods has been proven to cause or worsen, lower back pain which could lead to needing lower back pain treatment from a registered chiropractor.

Read on as we identify ways to de-stress your desk including common ergonomic mistakes made by desk workers, and we discuss the best chiropractic tips to alleviate pain.

Here are some common mistakes that could be causing you increased pain

  1. Unsuitable office chair and desk setup
  2. Incorrect height or positioning of monitor/s
  3. Insufficient breaks away from your desk
  4. Incorrect keyboard and mouse setups

Over the past 4 years our working environment has encountered several changes – one of the biggest adaptations is remote or hybrid working.  So, whilst your main office might be equipped with the correct setup to facilitate good posture and prevent injury, you might not be so lucky with your remote working environment.

Simple steps to alleviate back pain with ergonomic sitting

Adopting a practical setup with the correct chair and desk.

Choosing the correct office chair and desk setup can help support spinal alignment and reduce pressure on the back and neck.  An ergonomic office chair is not a universal solution or lower back pain reliever, although it is a promising start.  Each desk setup is as unique as the individual and it’s important to consider factors such as the work you’re doing, your height, and the height of the workstation.

Select a chair with a high back, providing support to your spine, and adjust the height to ensure your feet reach the ground comfortably and rest flat on the floor.  Alternatively, you could use a footrest to facilitate this.  Also make sure the space under your desk is clear and does not compromise your sitting position.  Position your desk at the right height for you to allow enough space for your legs.  Make sure it’s not too high that you’re having to stretch to reach.  You can consider using blocks to increase the height or opt for a lower chair if the height isn’t comfortable.

Ensure you have the correct chair and desk setup for your needs – it can help alleviate stress on the spine, and act as a lower back pain reliever.  

Correct positioning of monitors

Your monitor should be positioned at both the correct height and the correct distance away from you to promote a comfortable position. As a general rule, the monitor should be around an arm’s length away from your face with the top of the screen in line with your eye level. Variations of this may be more suited to individuals, but this is good starting point to work from.

Using correct or enhanced equipment 

Often overlooked, but a contributor to several back strains and aches is the positioning of your mouse and keyboard. You could have the workstation setup in the world, but if you’re over-stretching to reach your equipment, you are likely placing unnecessary strain on your back, shoulders, and neck. Your wrists should be rested just out in front of you, being able to comfortably reach both the mouse and keyboard with your shoulder relaxed. You can also benefit from using wrist rests to provide additional comfort instead of resting them on the hard desktop surface.

Maintaining movement in small bursts during periods of sedentary sitting

A simple lower back pain reliever is movement.  Prolonged static posture can lead to muscle aches and cause strain on the spine. To avoid this stationary position for too long, stand and stretch at least every 20 minutes to promote movement.   We recommend getting up from your desk for a short walk at regular intervals throughout the working day.  This helps to promote movement, avoid stiffness, and keep the muscles, joints, and tendons loose.

Outside of the workday, or during your lunch break, why not take yourself on a short walk to wake up the muscles? Holistic chiropractor practitioners advise that as little as a twenty-minute walk is enough to promote blood flow.

By implementing small changes to your working day and environment, you can help promote healthier posture and refrain from injury.

If you continue to experience pain after considering these changes and would like to book a consultation with our chiropractor for back pain relief, visit the link below.