Catching the backache culprit: Bad posture at the workstation

When you think of taking up a desk job, ‘back pain’ is not the first thing that you will think of. However, after spending long hours sitting at the desk, back pain may become the part of your routine that you want to get rid of.

Working at the computer for 40 plus hours weekly is the norm, nowadays. Don’t let that back ache become the norm. Understand how your workstation may result in back pain and how you can prevent it.

Improper seating posture is the most common cause of workstation related back pain. Holding the body in one position for prolonged periods can cause physical fatigue. Stiffness and back pain may result from the reduced circulation of blood to the muscles and bones supporting the back. Apart from poor posture, workstation design can also cause back pain.

Parts of the workstation that may contribute to back pain:

  • Computer screen position
  • Chair height
  • Keyboard position
  • Mouse position
  • Layout of the desk equipment

‘P’ for posture instead of ‘P’ for pain

Maintaining good posture at the workstation is the most important thing! How can you maintain good posture?

  • Make sure that your desk specifically designed for computer use.
  • The screen of your computer should be at the eye level or slightly lower.
  • Your keyboard should be at a height that lets your elbows rest comfortably at the side of your body.
  • You should be able to rest your feet flat on the floor by adjusting the height of your chair.
  • The backrest of the chair should be able to hold the natural curvature of your spine.

General tips you can follow for a healthy back:

  • Take regular short breaks from your desk
  • Try to sit up straight often
  • Exercise regularly
  • Try to lose excessive weight

What you can do to prevent back pain during those short breaks from work

Try to include a short walk and stand up and stretch often. Some minimal effort, easy-to-do exercises at your desk:

    • Stand up and sit down without using your hands
    • Do the ‘big hug’. You can hug your body by placing your left hand on the right shoulder and right hand on the left shoulder.
    • Stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers.
    • Using the arms of your chair as support, twist your torso to help release the upper body.

‘Sitting still’ while working at the computer, is one of the worst things that you can do to your body. These simple stretching exercises at your desk will help relieve back pain.