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        How do you fix poor desk posture?

        How do you fix poor desk posture?

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          Have you ever wondered how many workplace injuries are due to poor desk posture? If you have back pain and work in an office, the chances are you may have a preventable injury caused by slouching.

          A staggering 470,000 workers in the UK have job-related musculoskeletal disorders, according to watchdog the Health and Safety Executive, with 182,000 involving back pain – so, 39% of the total number.

          Around 212,000 people (45%) have pain in the neck and upper body, while a further 76,000 (16%) suffer aching lower limbs.

          Office worker suffering from back pain from bad posture Correct posture comparison

          Understanding how to improve desk posture can mean the difference between continual aches and pains or enjoying your job more because you’re comfortable due to better workplace ergonomics.

          Common causes of pain

          While deskwork may seem harmless, it can have a few negative outcomes. One of the most painful, misalignment of the spine can be caused over time by bending over your desk continually. The main cause is the repetitive strain caused by bad posture, poor body support, sitting in an awkward position such as slouching, a lack of active movement and general repetitive activities.

          Carrying out a repetitive task, even one that seems relatively safe, such as gripping and clicking a computer mouse, requires muscle exertion, especially when carried out frequently. This can contribute to fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders if it’s done in an uncomfortable position.

          Improve posture while sitting at desk

          You can take steps to prevent this from becoming an issue by improving your posture while sitting at your desk. From exercising to adjusting the chair position, it’s important to do all you can to prevent health issues further down the line.

          The neutral posture concept is something recommended by many health experts to minimise the risk of back and neck issues. This relates to the natural alignment position of the spine, which is straight from top to bottom.

          If you compromise your spine’s natural alignment by hunching or slouching, this can cause nerve pinching, compression and muscle tension, leading to pain.

          When you’re sitting at a desk, take steps to achieve a mainly neutral posture, such as keeping the computer monitor at eye level so you’re not continually looking down. Keep your back flat against the chair and pull your shoulders back, rather than leaning forward. You could also use a lumbar support tool to help prevent slouching.

          Don’t cross your legs when seated, keeping your feet flat on the floor.

          Workplace ergonomics

          If you’ve had poor posture habits for years, it can be challenging to train yourself not to slump. Many employees who have worked in an office for a long time may be so used to backache that they consider it an inevitable workplace hazard.

          Working in a modern serviced office means you’ll have the advantage of a well-designed workspace with ergonomic furniture. In addition, moving away from your desk to stretch your legs and spine won’t be an issue. Generous breakout space, such as the areas provided at BE Offices’ serviced office in London, means you can work efficiently without being tied to your desk all day. Some business centres even have height-adjustable desks to allow clients to stand for some of the day if so desired.

          Back pain relief exercises

          In addition to improving workplace posture, carrying out exercises to relieve back pain can also be beneficial. Take regular movement breaks, ideally every 30 minutes, to reduce the health hazards of long periods sitting down. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking a long walk if you’re busy. Even something as simple as performing good posture exercises at your desk can help alleviate pain.

          Stretching your arms over your head, opening up the chest and back, is a good way to counteract slouching. Take a short, brisk walk round the room to help boost circulation and increase energy levels. Even a 60-second trip to the water cooler and back can help!


          © Andrey_Popov / & © Kolonko /

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