Help Combat Lower Back Pain At Your Desk

We keep being told that we shouldn't be sitting down for long periods of time, but how realistic is this with the ever increasing amount of desk and PC based jobs?

I see a lot of clients who complain of lower back pain while they are at work.  This is often down to poor posture putting unnecessary strain through the lower back muscles that are made to work extra hard to support this position.

In an ideal world you would take a break from your desk every 20 minutes and have a little stretch but this is very impractical when you have deadlines to meet (and don't want to look silly while doing some lunges in the middle of the office!).

Unfortunately not all companies offer thorough workstation assessments, so here are some tips on how you can adopt the best possible posture in a less than ideal environment:

1. Find your neutral pelvic sitting position:

  • Sit on the palms of your hands so you can feel the bony part of your bottom
  • Roll yourself back and forth and stop when these bones feel most prominent
  • Remove your hands and this is your neutral pelvic position
  • Engage your core (draw your belly button towards your spine) to elevate your torso

2. Fit your desk in as best you can around this position:

  • Bring your keyboard and mouse to the edge of your desk so you're not reaching for them
  • Bring your monitor forward so you're not peering forward to see it
  • Adjust the height of your monitor so you're looking straight at the top of the screen
  • Set the height of your chair so your ankles, knees, hips and elbows are all at a 90° angle
  • Put a step or box under your feet if this doesn't allow them to sit comfortably on the floor
  • Adjust the back of your chair so it supports you in this position

I know that you probably don't sit completely still while at your desk so this isn't something that you can maintain for all your duties but if you can remember to work as close to this position whenever possible it will help to take the pressure off of those lower back muscles that give you so much grief.

Does this apply to you? Have you found these tips useful? Let me know how you get on!