5 Tips for Staying Limber at Your Desk
For those of you at a desk most or all of the day, you’re probably no stranger to the familiar feeling of back pain thanks to a pinched nerve or strained neck that seem to go hand in hand with office life.
Studies have repeatedly shown that sitting at a desk, staring at a computer for 40 hours a week can have serious and lasting negative health repercussions.
At Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, we’re committed to doing everything we can to help our patients, even before they become patients! That’s why we’ve worked with our team of orthopaedic specialists to come up with 5 ways you can reduce the risk of injury or negative health effects if you find yourself at a desk for several hours a day.
Optimize your work station
There are several factors that go into sitting at your desk “correctly.”
Make sure your:
- Back and neck are straight
- Lower back (lumbar) is well supported
- Monitor is eye-level (you shouldn’t have to look up or down)
- Legs are uncrossed, with feet flat on the ground
- Keyboard is close enough that your upper arms aren’t extending away from your body to reach it
Try out alternative chairs
Don’t limit yourself to the standard office desk chair. Try a yoga ball instead which will facilitate better posture and help strengthen your core.
Get up frequently
The number one issue with being at a desk for so long is our bodies become sedentary. We need to move often to keep our joints loose and our spine healthy. Try and get up at least once an hour. This can be a trip to the bathroom or a simple stroll around the office for a few minutes.
Take a stretch break every few hours. Gently stretch your back by standing up and bending over, touching your knees or toes. Stretch your neck by tilting your head forward, backward, and side to side. Each stretch should be held for about 30 seconds.
Find ways to integrate physical activity into your work routine
Look into ways that you can make movement part of your workflow. Consider trying out a standing desk or use a peddler under your desk to keep your legs in motion. There are several ways in which small physical habits can produce lasting benefits.
Sitting at a desk all day doesn’t have to include back pain. If you’d like to learn more about the Spine Center at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine or would like to make an appointment with one of our spine specialists, please request an appointment online or give us a call at 904-825-0540.
CASEY McCLONE, MD
Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.