If a 9-to-5 desk job leaves your back aching and sore, you don't have to take the pain sitting down. Here are some ways to prevent discomfort and tension in your spine.
- Switch your chair for a ball: Weak abs and back muscles can be one cause of your pain, as well as poor posture from slouching over your keyboard. Since sitting on a stability ball forces you to sit up straight and use your core, making the switch will not only help alleviate back pain, it'll also help you look better in your swimsuit. Start off with a few 20-minute sessions until you gradually work up to a full day.
- Take five: Sitting at a desk for hours on end can lead to tight shoulders, hips, and hamstrings, all of which can pull and put pressure on your spine, causing pain. Regularly stretching these areas will increase your flexibility, offering instant relief and preventing discomfort down the road. Set your phone or computer alarm every 60 minutes to take a stretching break; include these yoga poses for hip and back pain as well as these neck, chest, and shoulder stretches.
- Noon workout: Break up your day by exercising on your lunch break to increase circulation and warm up your tight muscles. Focus on workouts that strengthen your abs and back and finish up with stretches for the hip flexors, lower back, and shoulders.
- Find opportunities to stand: Walk over to your co-workers to chat with them instead of relying on instant message, take your phone calls or meetings for a walk, and if your company allows for it, get an adjustable desk that allows you to stand while working.
- Ergonomics: Many companies call in a professional to check their workers' desks to make sure they're set up properly, so take advantage of this service. A simple adjustment to your chair height could be the fix you need to end your back pain.