Look after your back – Keep fit for Work!

Your painful back, neck or shoulders could be because of the way you sit or the amount of time you sit in one position. Problems can start either at home or work, so, GET FIT TO SIT!

Your body is designed for a much more active lifestyle. Keeping parts of the body still for too long, such as when you sit at a desk, can lead to stress on your spine with possible damage and pain.

Lighting, noise and badly-positioned furniture can all make you uncomfortable, so try to adjust things to suit you.

There is no one chair which suits everyone or every type of job. You should try to adjust your sitting position to the one that suits you best. Follow these few simple tips to help avoid back pain:

DO’S and DON’T’S

  • DO try to keep the body’s natural curves. Avoid looking like a banana
  • DO use a lumbar roll or a seat wedge to help maintain the back’s natural curve. A lumbar roll can be made by rolling a small towel and placing it between the chair and the lower part of your back
  • DO try to keep your elbows at right angles when using a keyboard – use an armrest
  • DO use a footrest if your feet don’t touch the ground or your chair can’t be lowered enough
  • DO avoid excessive neck movement by using a document holder if you do a lot of typing
  • DO place the keyboard where you can reach it easily and can key with either hand
  • DO try and arrange your work so that you achieve a mix of sitting still and moving around
  • DO get the body moving by doing a few exercises every hour or so. This will increase circulation, send more oxygen to the brain and help you stay alert

* * *

  • DON’T sit for too long. Stand up and stretch every 20 minutes or so
  • DON’T place things out of reach so that you have to make a lot of repetitive movements. Especially avoid twisting when sitting
  • DON’T lean forward more than you have to. Your head weighs about 14lbs
  • DON’T have your chair too far from your desk. The arms, if fitted, should not prevent the chair being pulled up close to the desk

This advice can help prevent back, neck and shoulder problems. However if a problem occurs, consult one of our Physiotherapists at The Wyndham Centre.

Wyndham Health