A little awareness of how you work at your desk and some minor adjustments can end that nagging back pain.
- Try to keep your head and neck aligned above your shoulders. This may take some practice, as we commonly hang our head forward to see computer monitors. Known as vulture neck, this can lead to consistent back pain over time.
- Don’t reach too far for your mouse. Keep it close to your keyboard. The overreach, combined with insistent clicking of the mouse button, transfers pain from arm, to shoulder, to back.
- Use a lumbar back support on your desk chair. That added support prevents chair slump. You can also get supports with cooling and heating features for extra comfort.
- Breathe for your back. Try these breathing exercises every now and then while sitting at your desk. Take deep breaths from your stomach muscles, think of sucking your belly button toward your spine. This strengthens core muscles that weaken from excessive sitting.
- Make sure you are the right distance from your monitor. Hunching forward is bad, as is reaching for your keyboard from far off. Try to be about 2-3 inches away.
- Keep feet planted. Crossing feet at the ankles or resting a foot on a file cabinet will eventually put strain on your back muscles. Keep feet flat on the floor and about shoulder width apart.
- Take a break. Just moving around every 15-20 minutes helps circulation.
- Don’t cross your legs. This position creates tension in your legs that translates into back pain.
- The infamous phone cradle. Don’t cradle your phone on your shoulder. Even though you may do this infrequently, eventually this awkward position strains neck, shoulder and back muscles.