Office workers often spend long periods sitting at their desks. This type of static posture is bad for your back health, stretching spinal ligaments and straining discs, which, in turn, can lead to lower back pain. If you spend long periods sitting a desk, consider the following simple, cost-free ways you can maintain spinal health and avoid the lower back pain that plagues so many people.
Go for a short walk
A study by the University of Missouri found that a short walk (around ten minutes) reversed some of the cardiovascular effects of six hours of sitting. What's more, a short walk can also help you avoid some of the posture problems that lead to back injuries.
It's easy to find reasons to go for a short walk. Take a trip to the printer, or go and make a cup of coffee. Instead of sending an email or making a phone call, visit a colleague at his or her desk, and get some exercise along the way. If all else fails, simply walk around the building for a few minutes. Some thinking time away from your desk could also help you work more productively.
Set up a daily stand-up meeting
Agile project managers rely on daily stand-up meetings to discuss progress. During these sessions, team members talk about their current work and highlight any problems they need help with. This collaborative style of meeting is also a great way to break up the monotony of sitting at your desk - and everyone can do it.
Set up a daily stand-up meeting for a current project or initiative. Get everyone to come to a quiet area, and spend ten or fifteen minutes talking collaboratively. Not only will you share ideas, you'll also get some vital time away from your desk chair.
Devise a desk-based exercise routine
Doctors often recommend exercise as a way to counter lower back pain, but some people wrongly assume that you can only properly work out in the gym. In fact, you can also carry out exercises to help look after your back without even leaving your desk.
For example, some yoga postures can help relieve tension. Sit facing forward and turn your head to the left while you turn your torso to the right. Hold the position for a few seconds before alternating sides. Repeat the exercise fifteen times.
Before you start any exercises, you should always talk to your doctor. If you already suffer with back problems, your chiropractor can tell you which movements are safe for you.
Office workers need to find creative ways to avoid lower back pain. Find simple ways to incorporate exercise and time away from your desk into your daily routine, as this will decrease the risk of painful back problems.