Are you among the 25% of Americans struggling with neck pain? Or one of the 31 million Americans dealing with back pain right now? The way you sit and move while you work could be causing your pain or making it worse.
Jennifer Walker, DC, and our team at Balance Wellspace in Roanoke, Virginia, want to help. We’ve put together this helpful guide so you can set up your office space in the best way for your back and neck.
And if the pain’s too much to handle, our expert care can ease your discomfort naturally and effectively. Here are our top five tips for designing a workspace to relieve your back and neck pain.
Invest in an ergonomic chair
Most Americans spend much of their workday sitting. Your chair is a worthwhile investment. Look for an ergonomically designed chair that’s adjustable (both the back and seat), has lumbar support, and allows you to rest your head.
Check that your thighs rest parallel to the floor. Look for a chair that swivels easily so moving from task to task doesn’t twist your spine. Different chairs suit people of different heights, so test chairs for fit, just as you would try on shoes.
Check your screens
If you're like most adults in America, you spend over 11 hours looking at one screen or another every day. The screens you look at during work — including your phone — should be set up with your neck and back in mind.
Looking down strains your neck and can even causes discs in your upper spine to slip out of place, leading to herniated discs and compressed nerves. Place your computer monitor at eye height directly in front of you to avoid bending or twisting your neck.
Avoid using your cell phone for long activities, such as answering emails, typing documents, and lengthy research. It’s best to sit at your desk with good posture rather than bend over a tiny screen.
Factor in your feet
Your foot placement can dramatically affect the pain you feel in your lower back. Your feet should be supported, ideally resting flat on the floor. But if your feet don’t comfortably reach the ground, use a footrest or box instead of resting your feet on the bottom of your chair.
In addition to alleviating pressure on your lower back, foot rests also encourage you to sit actively, keeping your muscles engaged and blood circulating.
Check your posture
No matter where you work, it’s likely you don’t think enough about your posture. But good posture is good for your health and an excellent way to alleviate back and neck pain.
Your office space should allow you to practice good posture. To achieve this, think of having a neutral spine. With good posture, the muscles around your spine distribute the support equally, and everything is balanced, or neutral.
To keep good posture while you sit, place your feet flat on the floor, hold your back straight, and distribute your weight evenly to both hips. Keep your shoulders relaxed and back with your head straight, not leaning forward.
Don’t forget lighting
It may not seem important to back and neck pain, but poor lighting forces you to contort your body and lean forward to see the task at hand. Over time, this type of strain can cause lasting damage.
Work in a well-lit environment and get extra task lights to help illuminate your workspace to keep you from twisting and straining.
If you’d like more tips for your office space to relieve back or neck pain, or to seek natural and effective treatment for existing pain, contact our team at Balance Wellspace by calling our Roanoke, Virginia, office or requesting an appointment online now.