Sitting all day at work is hard on your back. Being in one position for a prolonged period can make your back stiff and your muscles ache.
This can result in extra stress on your neck, back, and spine. Day after day, this adds extra pressure to your back muscles and can lead to long-term back problems.
For these reasons, it's important to support your lumbar region throughout the day. Luckily, there are many ways to support your back while you work.
Here are some tips for supporting your lumbar region at the office.
Watch Your Posture
If you work for hours at a desk in front of a computer, you may go home with an aching back each day. Doing this over a long period of time can lead to chronic pain and weakened muscles.
It's important to adjust your posture and stretch throughout the day. Try to keep your head up and in line with your shoulders.
Try not to slouch. This is a hard habit to break, especially if you're used to sitting this way.
Improving your posture takes time and effort. You have to keep reminding yourself to sit straight and not to slouch or hunch your shoulders as you work.
Keep practicing and soon it will be second nature to sit up, sit straight, and adjust your position as you work at your desk.
Choose a Supportive Chair
The chair you sit in for work makes a huge difference to your back health. If your chair has poor back support, this can contribute to back pain, stiffness, and discomfort.
An ergonomic design provides your back with more support than an ordinary chair. Your office chair should provide lumbar support and follow the natural curve of your back.
No matter what chair you use, adjust it to your comfort level. If possible, adjust the armrests to slightly lift your arms at your sides.
An armrest helps take some of the strain from your neck and shoulders and also promotes good posture.
No matter what kind of office chair you use, sitting for long periods of time is bad for your back. Remember to get up from your desk, stretch, and take a break from time to time during your day.
This helps keep your muscles, joints, and ligaments loose and relaxed. Consider using an adjustable standing desk for part of your day.
Take phone calls standing or walking around to give yourself a break from sitting. Although you may have a busy day, your back needs attention too. Take time throughout the day to get up and take the stress off your back.
Everyone needs a break and a change of scenery during the day. Plan short breaks in your workday to move around and stretch your back and leg muscles.
Take time for a short walk, grab a cup of coffee, or head outside for a few minutes. Sitting for too long can wreak havoc on your neck and back, so make it a point to move around no matter how busy you are.
Taking a few minutes to walk around and stretch your muscles will help prevent tight, sore, and stiff muscles at the end of the day.
Use a Lumbar Support Pillow
Lumbar support is essential to your quality of life as the years go by. Untreated back problems may get worse and lead to chronic back issues as you age.
Using a lumbar support pillow for your lower back can make your office chair more comfortable. It provides the extra support you need to prevent back pain and strain during the workday.
A few benefits of a lumbar pillow include:
- Support for your spine
- Comfort for tired muscles
- Relief from pain
- Doctor recommended back support
- Portable design
- Cost-effective solution
A lumbar support pillow helps to support your back, neck, and spine as you sit. You can use a lumbar pillow at home, while you travel, or while you sleep for comfort and back support.
Position Your Knees for Support
As you sit during the day, you want to support your spine with good posture and lumbar support. Another way to support your spine is through the way you position your body as you sit.
If needed, adjust your seat to keep your hips at the same height as your knees. Try to keep your knees bent at around 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor.
This takes some of the stress away from your spine and balances the weight throughout your body. if you're on the short side, try using a small footrest for extra support.
Try Breathing Exercises
When you're so busy you can't take a break, try doing some breathing exercises while you sit. You can do this at your desk just by concentrating on your breathing for a few moments.
Take a deep breath in and try to bring your navel in towards your spine. Exhale and relax your body and then start again.
Doing this even a few times a day helps you engage your core muscles, elongate your upper body, and relax.
Sit on a Supportive Cushion
For extra comfort and support, try using a supportive cushion in your office chair. There are a variety of support cushions on the market to choose from.
Some have memory foam and others are gel-infused for extra comfort. A support cushion takes the stress off your back and helps distribute your weight evenly.
It makes sitting for long periods much more comfortable. Never sit in a hard office chair to do your work.
Be kind to your back and bottom and use a support cushion as you work. They're portable so you can use them when you work at home, watch TV, read, or anytime you sit for an extended period.
Adjust Your Screen to Your Eyes
You may not ever think about it, but the position of your computer screen can affect your neck and back. A screen that sits too high or low can lead to neck and back strain.
First, sit up and make sure your back and neck are straight. Then adjust your monitor so it sits at or a bit below eye level.
As you look at your screen, your eyes should look slightly downward. If your screen needs to go higher, try placing a book or two underneath for extra height.
If you want a more aesthetic solution, you can purchase a monitor arm and adjust your screen as needed.
Watch Your Weight
Excess weight on your body puts further strain on your neck, spine, and back muscles. Sitting at work all day keeps you sedentary, so you have to make an effort to avoid putting on extra pounds.
You probably spend a lot of time at work, so be mindful of the type of food you consume while you're there. Avoid the office doughnuts and birthday cakes.
Pack a healthy lunch and some healthy snacks to munch on during your day. The heavier you are, the more likely you are to suffer with back pain. So, watch your calorie intake and make it a point to add as much movement into your day as possible.
Get Enough Rest
One of the most important things you can do for your mind and body is to get enough rest at night. Sleep is the time your body needs to rejuvenate and refresh so you can perform your best at work or play the following day.
Failing to get a good night's sleep makes neck and back pain worse. This can affect your mood, your productivity, and your pain level.
Make sleep a priority so you can feel your best.
The position you sleep in can contribute to your back pain. Try sleeping on your side with your knees bent.
Place a small pillow beneath your neck and another between your legs for support. This will support your spine and keep you from twisting too much as you sleep.
Remember the Little Things
We sometimes get in a hurry and forget that our daily activities affect our back. If you have back pain, here are a few tips to remember.
- Don't carry around unnecessary weight in your purse, briefcase, or bag.
- Try using a backpack over both shoulders rather than a bag with one strap.
- Bend at your knees to pick up heavy objects.
- Stretch every chance you get during the day.
If you have the time to exercise before you head to work, it can do wonders for your neck and back. Remembering a few tips for self-care can help you have a better day with less pain and discomfort.
Exercise Tips for Back Health
Strengthening your body with regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent chronic back problems. Exercise helps you control your weight, strengthen your core, and prevent injury.
Exercises that target the back muscles help relieve the strain of sitting all day. As you strengthen back muscles, you are helping to support your spine, improve your flexibility, and widen your range of motion.
A strong, flexible back allows you to perform better at whatever you do. You can do back stretches at your desk or on a mat at the office or at home.
A strong back increases your endurance and makes you less susceptible to strain from sitting for long periods of time.
Yoga helps you stretch your muscles, elongate your back, and relax your body. It promotes healthy muscles and joints, good blood circulation, and spine flexibility.
With yoga, start small and advance only when you feel comfortable. Adding yoga to your routine can help loosen and strengthen your spine and reduce the aches and pains in your neck and back.
Take a Dip
If you have chronic back pain, taking a dip in the pool may be a good solution. Water is buoyant, and you can move through the water with less strain on your muscles.
Exercising in water is good for improving nerve function, soothing sore muscles, and building strength. You may want to try a water exercise class or hydrotherapy if you prefer warmer water.
Aerobic exercise is important for overall health. In addition to providing cardiovascular benefits, low-impact aerobics offers the following health benefits.
- Weight loss resulting in decreased stress on back muscles
- Improvement of day-to-day functionality
- Lower pain levels due to the release of endorphins
There are many ways to engage in low-impact aerobic exercise. These include riding a bike, using an elliptical, and walking. If you're experiencing back pain, start slowly.
You can begin with 5 to 10 minutes of movement per day. Work to increase this little by little to build up to 30 minutes or more of exercise each day.
Regular exercise will help you in so many ways, including making it through your workday with less pain and stiffness.
The Benefits of Lumbar Support
If you must sit for hours at your job each day, it's important to remember to take care of your neck, back, and spine. Back pain is a common concern, but there's a lot you can do to support and strengthen your back.
If you're experiencing back pain of any kind, you want to make sure you address the problem right away before it becomes a chronic concern. Watching your posture, supporting your back, exercising, and getting adequate sleep will help.
Be sure to take a look our website and our many comfort and lumbar support products that can help ease the pain, strain, and pressure on your back.