Back pain is one of the most common health issues adults experience in the United States. Up to 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, half of all Americans report missing at least one day of work in the past year for back pain, and back pain accounts for a staggering 264 million lost work days per year. What’s causing this tremendous prevalence of back pain in our society? One major cause of back pain is poor posture. Americans are sitting and working more than ever before, causing posture to be more of an issue. In addition to poor posture, psychological stress can impact one’s back pain. Whether you work long hours or not, working on your posture and using ergonomically sound supports to assist you can help prevent you from experiencing uncomfortable back pain. Read on for some simple tips and tricks to improve your posture and ergonomics and avoid pain in your back.
Keep Your Body Aligned
One of the best things you can do to help your posture is to keep your spine and neck aligned properly. If standing or sitting, be sure to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in a vertical line. As you sit, make sure to avoid unbalanced postures where you are crossing one leg, sitting favoring one side, hunched over, or tilting the head. Use your office chair to align your back and neck as you sit with your back touching the back of the chair and your shoulders down and straight.
Move Your Muscles
Our bodies are not meant to be in one place or position for extended periods of time. As we sit or stand for long amounts of time, our muscles tire, and we are more likely to engage in bad posture such as slumping or slouching. Changing positions frequently or getting up and moving every thirty minutes to one hour can assist in engaging the muscles and helping them tire less as you sit back in your chair. Additionally, getting the recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day can help work your muscles to make it easier on your body as you sit while you work.
Use Supports to Your Advantage
Products that assist with your natural ergonomics such as lumbar supports and chair pads can be used to make you more comfortable and relieve pressure as you sit for long periods of time. These supports work with your body to help encourage better posture and prevent unnecessary strain on your back and neck. Some of the available products include (insert links to products here).
Whether you work at a desk, drive long distances, or sit on the floor often, it is likely that you experience issues maintaining your posture throughout the day. Making sure to be aware of your posture, keeping yourself intentionally aligned, getting moving, and purchasing ergonomic supports can help prevent you from being a part of the 50% of Americans that miss a day of work during the year due to back pain.