Take care of your body. It is the only place you have to live in.
You’re not alone!
Back pain is the third most common cause of doctor visits and analgesic consumption in most countries, according to a study published in 2013 by the Mayo Clinic.
Many people suffering from back pain struggle with what’s causing their back pain, not realizing the eight or more hours they spend sitting could be the main culprit.
What are some of these wrong sitting postures?
When you tip your head forward when looking down at your screen, phone, or desk:
The human head weighs, on average, 10 lbs which makes any slight angle forward put a strain on the muscles of your neck and upper back. The further that you lean your head forward, and how long you keep that straining posture, determines how much extra work your neck and upper-back will do.
The image on the left shows the wrong way to tilt the head while the right is the corrects position to assume.
When your shoulders are rolled forward:
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is a lack of lumbar support from a chair either because it’s too soft or one that doesn’t encourage good posture. If you’re wondering if you’re guilty of this, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and let your arms hang down at your sides. If your thumb points forward, you’re probably balanced. But if your palms are pointing behind you, you probably have an imbalance.
When your elbows are too far away from your body:
The rule of thumb in lifting anything is that the more the object weighs, and the further your elbows are away from your torso, the more strain you put on your shoulders and upper back. Reaching your arms forward to type or write might not seem like much, but doing it eight or more hours per day will surely take its toll on you.
When you hold your phone to your ear:
Watch yourself. Most times when you hold your phone with your hands to your ears, you tend to tilt your neck in that same direction. This affects the back after prolonged practice.
Also, many people multitask and talk on the phone while their hands are doing other things, making them wedge the phone between their shoulder and ear. Doing this for a few seconds isn’t going to cause an imbalance in your body, but anything more than that will cause tension on one side of your neck and upper back.
When you sit for too long:
A doctor once said “Moving Heals”, ensure the body is a perpetual motion as your muscles get less oxygen and nutrients from your blood when you’re sedentary.
Frequently change postural positions and take movement micro-breaks for every 30 minutes of sitting throughout the workday. Find a reason to stand up to save your back.
If you find yourself guilty of these bad sitting postures, it’s time to make a change for the better. What if you already are experiencing mild to chronic back pain? Not to worry. It can be corrected. First, ensure you see your doctor who will recommend the right drugs, physiotherapy and aerobics for you. Do not attempt to do anything yourself as out of ignorance you may hurt yourself further.