5 Ways to Protect Your Spine at Work

Spine injuries are often the result of laborious industrial jobs requiring heavy lifting and even heavier machinery. Back pain is rarely associated with sedentary positions, as many people mistakenly believe desk jobs are generally less physically intensive. It turns out that prolonged stillness is just as risky to the spine as constant movement, if not more so. Really, protecting the spine on the workplace–regardless of industry–comes down to being aware of one's body throughout the day.

How to Protect Your Spine at the Workplace

Sitting all day has been consistently linked to an increased risk for metabolic syndrome, a general disease term that includes things like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. [1] Not only that, prolonged sitting on the job can reduce spine health and put the spine in a vulnerable position. Constant movement, workstation modifications, and self awareness are helpful ways to reduce spine injuries when sitting down for long periods of time. Here are 5 ways you can reduce your risk for back-related injuries at the workplace, if not prevent future injuries from occurring again.

1. Fidgeting

It is said that fidgeting while working at a desk can help burn more calories. While the extra movement may provide a slight boost in metabolic rate during the day, especially in a sedentary job, fidgeting and moving throughout the day might also provide benefit for reducing spine injury. Doing back stretches and small twists at your desk may promote the spine's flexibility and strength, as it prevents the spine from getting used to one specific position. [2]

2. Use a Standing Desk

For some, standing can help reduce lower back pain by reducing the pressure placed on the spine following a sitting position. Investing in a standing desk may be helpful for individuals seeking an alternative to prolonged sitting, an all-too-common experience that has far greater implications on the entire body. While it may be easier to use a standing desk if you work from home, many workplaces are beginning to investigate this innovative tool. Ask around to see if it is possible for your workplace to invest in an affordable standing desk.

3. Be Conscious of Your Posture

Whether you're walking or sitting, always be conscious of how you are positioning your spine. Are you slumped over and leaning toward your computer to see your work? If you are, then you may need to reposition your workstation in order to complement a healthy, comfortable posture. Your back should be rested against your chair's back support, and your computer should be above your waist but not over your head. [3]

4. Push, Don't Pull

According to some experts, pushing objects may be healthier for the back than pulling. More tension is put into the spine during pulling, with pushing relying more on arm and leg strength. Whether you are arranging office furniture or simply decorating an office space, always push large, heavy objects to avoid unnecessary strain.

5. Foot Orthotics

For individuals who have …read more

Source: 5 Ways to Protect Your Spine at Work