Whether you’re working from home or just spending a lot of time in an office chair, back health is becoming a real problem for modern workers. When they said sitting was the new smoking, they had your back in mind! Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to keep your back healthy and happy, even if you spend a lot of time in your chair.
Posture, posture, posture
You’ve heard it before, maybe from your mom or your elementary school teacher: sit up straight! The fact is, you do a lot of damage to your spine by slouching. And since everyone gets uncomfortable sitting in the same chair all day, you wind up shifting around — rarely into an ideal position.
There are a few ways you can start improving your posture right now. Roll your shoulders back and relax them. Tighten your stomach muscles to the point where they are engaged but not painful. Place your feet flat on the floor and check the alignment of your neck. It should be positioned so you are looking straight ahead at your screen. If the height of your screen doesn’t allow for that, consider raising it on books or yoga blocks to keep your head in the proper position.
Take movement breaks
It’s easy to say you’ll take a break, but then you get involved in a project, and the next thing you know, it’s two hours later. Consider taking advantage of the technology you’re using. Set reminders and alarms to tell you to get up and move at least once an hour. It doesn’t have to be anything too intense. Just a walk to the kitchen to get a drink of water will be beneficial.
That said, it’s great if you can schedule some actual exercise into your day. If you’re working from home you might have the flexibility to do this mid-afternoon, when your back really needs the break. Otherwise, after work is also good. If you’re usually a cardio person, consider trying an easy yoga video or app once a week to stretch out those sore muscles.
Invest in a foam roller
A foam roller is a cheap, simple piece of equipment that makes a huge difference to your back. It’s basically a solid piece of hard foam. You can use it in many ways and find lots of tutorials online, and the rounded shape makes it perfect for reversing the damage you do sitting at a computer all day.
If you’re wondering how to get started, simply position the roller around your mid back. Lace your hands behind your head and lean backwards until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold this position for one minute. Then roll your entire back along the roller. You’ll probably hear some cracks and snaps as your spine settles into place.
Desk jobs can wreak havoc on your health, and they’re one of the worst culprits for creating bad backs. The older you get, the more important it is to keep your back healthy. No matter where you are in your work journey, these tips will help you strengthen and heal any damage done in those long hours at your desk!