It doesn’t matter what kind of a job you have, whether it involves sitting in front of a computer screen all day or performing manual labor: maintaining proper posture at work is key to your long-term comfort and health. It’s also easy to overlook.
Unfortunately, poor posture can result in everything from disk herniation to tight muscles. Certain injuries may even mean you have to seek out information about physical therapy or see a doctor. This can lead to a cycle you definitely want to avoid.
What Can Cause Back Pain?
Workers who develop chronic pain as a result of improper posture often adopt an unnatural posture in an effort to alleviate their pain. Even if this yields some immediate relief, in the long run, it will only cause more problems.
It’s also worth noting that most employees are working longer hours than ever before. The more time you spend at work, the greater the odds your poor posture will negatively impact your comfort.
That’s why it’s important to understand what you can do to mitigate these issues. Getting enough exercise is one smart step. Exercise strengthens the body and helps to guard against the negative effects of improper posture.
Read more about: Back Pain Causes & Risk Factors.
How to Improve Your Posture
It’s also important that you learn how to adopt the ideal posture for the kind of work you do.
If you have a desk job
The more you practice the below-mentioned suggestions, the more instinctive it will become.
- Make sure your chair height allows you to rest your feet on the floor (or another stable surface).
- If you have armrests, allow your arms to sit on them so your shoulders can relax.
- Make sure the keyboard, mouse, and any other items you regularly use are all close enough that you don’t have to reach for them.
- And, of course, sit with your back straight, but don’t force it. This should feel relatively natural to you.
Must read: Acupressure Points for Back Pain.
If your work involves manual labor
- Make sure you know how to properly lift heavy items. Use machinery or get extra help whenever possible if your work requires you to lift such objects.
- When lifting them, crouch down, making sure your knees are not locked.
- Stand up straight when walking and remember to take breaks when you need them.
Also, read about: 7 Yoga Poses for Back Pain.
By adjusting your position and keeping these key points in mind, you’ll be much more likely to avoid the negative effects of poor posture.
- No matter what type of job you have, it’s also very important to avoid remaining in the same position for a long period of time.
- Office workers with desk jobs should make a point of standing up and walking around for a minute or so every hour. Manual laborers should take the time to sit down throughout the day.
About the Author
Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing