Save Your Back
To assist our readers to further understand the importance of sound ergonomic practices, we at Ergoprise take pleasure in listing additional information during National Ergonomics Month. With this passage, Ms. Devanshi G. Patel reviews an all too common complaint we hear about from many contacts. The human body is an amazing machine with hundreds of moving parts. The key is “moving”it was not designed to be sedentary or still. As industrialization occurred and we moved from the fields to the chair, the occurrence of back pain has risen exponentially. Back pain is in the top three reasons for missed work in the United States.
Causes of Back Pain:
- Poor Posture
- Poor Body Mechanics or Positioning for a particular workstation
- Repetitive Strain- this can be sitting for too long
- Poor Physical Health and Conditioning
To truly address back pain, all of these issues must be systematically addressed. A physical therapist can be an important resource to help you find the solutions to the problems listed above.
General Guidelines: Posture
When sitting in a chair start from the bottom and then go up. Make sure your feet are on the ground, your knees are about level or a little lower than your hips. Your lumbar (low Back) curve should be supported, as well as your thoracic or mid- back area, and your head and neck are positioned directly over your spine.
Body Mechanics and Positioning for your Workstation
Making sure your workstation is set up to optimize your posture, and does not put undue stress on your body. As mentioned above, your feet should rest comfortably on the floor, your knees should be about4-6 inches from the back of your chair when sitting, and your hips and knees should form a 90-110 degree angle. Your arms should rest comfortably at your side relieving stress from the shoulders and your neck should be directly over your spine. It is important maintain those curves in a safe manner especially when you are performing strenuous activities, lifting, or sitting/standing for long periods of time.
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Finding support devices to minimize muscular force and positioning to decrease strain are very important. Examples of this allows the largest muscle groups to accomplish the task, or changing the flow of how the activity is performed.
Physical Health and Conditioning
Moving often is the most important key to improving both your physical health as well as conditioning. Flexibility, cardiovascular exercise, and strength training should all be a part of a healthy exercise program. There are simple exercises that can be done as part of your work day to help alleviate stress and strain on muscles due to prolonged sitting, poor posture, or poor positioning. Please consult with a trained professional if any of these stretches cause pain or if you have a known back problem.
Exercises for the Low Back
While sitting in your chair slowly bring one knee up towards your chest Hold in place 3 seconds Release and switch legs 5 times each to leg.
In sitting or standing, interlace your fingers behind your head
Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together
Hold for 3 breaths
Repeat 10 times
An excellent stretch whenever you have been sitting for a long period of time.
Stand with your knees slightly bent, hands on your low back, fingers pointing down
Slowly bend backwards while pushing your hands into the back providing support
Hold for 20 seconds
Repeat 7-10 times
While standing or sitting lift hands overhead while interlacing fingers
Keep your elbows straight and reach high for the sky
Lean to the left side until you feel a stretch and hold for 3 breaths
Repeat to the right side and perform the stretch 3 times to each side
Should you have questions about the best equipment for your specific needs please do not hesitate to contact us at 877-907-8688, [email protected] or via live chat. To speak with Ms. Patel please contact her at [email protected]. About the author, she attended UT Austin graduated with a degree in Biology with honors. She graduated from Texas Women’s University with a Master’s In Physical Therapy. She has worked in a variety of setting including: orthopedics, acute care, pediatrics, wound care, trauma, as well as ICU and the Neuro ICU. Her specialization is in chronic pain management and she was the supervising therapist at an out patient multi -disciplinary chronic pain management clinic for 7 years. She was in charge of community and physician education and training on chronic pain management and has spoken at The Texas Pain Management Society physician’s education panel.
Her goal is to help clients help themselves with information, education, and a one on one approach with my physical therapy in order to change their physical conditioning and ultimately their health.
Ergoprise: is a certified, woman-owned, multi-brand provider of high quality office, mobile, and industrial ergonomic tools located in Austin, Texas. Through our showroom, website, and sales team we offer a broad range of ergonomic products that have been selected to provide individuals with a comfortable working environment that delivers an excellent return on investment.