If you’re one of the roughly 86% of Americans who sit all day their job, chances are back and neck pain are your familiar counterparts. Even if you stay active in other parts of your life, and maintain decent posture at work, sedentary behavior can put you at increased risk for orthopedic pain and discomfort.
Over time, that occasional sore neck can become a full-blown, regular occurrence. This, in turn, can decrease your quality of life and make it more difficult to enjoy the things you love to do, like stay active and spend time with your family and friends. Back and neck pain can even make sleeping difficult, which leads to worn-down, stressed-out days at work.
Fortunately, back pain from your office job is not something you have to live with. Here are five ways chiropractic care can improve your job performance and, most importantly, your quality of life:
5 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Job Performance
Are you looking for ways to be a better employee? Here are a few ways that chiropractic care can help you achieve those goals:
- Alleviates Headaches. If you’re always suffering from a headache at work, it’s tough to excel and do your best. Fortunately, great chiropractic care can help you avoid this particular pitfall. By keeping your neck and back in alignment, chiropractic care can cut down on headaches and make it easier to thrive in a work environment.
- Improved Flexibility. It can be tough to sit in an office chair all day. Fortunately, chiropractic care can help increase your flexibility and keep your body healthy and happy, no matter how long that big board meeting takes. This benefits you both in and out of the office, as it’s a great path to whole-body health.
- Improved Immune System. Want to avoid the winter flu? Chiropractic care can help you stay healthy and avoid missed days at work. This is a benefit for you and the rest of the office, as you’re less likely to spread germs when your immune system is working as efficiently as possible. While many people don’t understand how chiropractic care works to keep the immune system healthy, the secret lies in lymphatic function. By keeping lymph nodes healthy and avoiding lymphatic congestion, chiropractic care gives your immune system a major boost and promotes great overall health.
- Wellness and Prevention. By keeping your spine healthy and happy, chiropractic care helps prevent other injuries and illnesses and keeps you comfortable as you move forward into your life. This is critical for anyone who likes to stay active outside of work and wants to maintain mobility as they do it.
- Reduces Chronic Pain. If you suffer from chronic back or neck pain, chiropractic care may be able to help resolve it. By reducing subluxations and keeping the spine in line, chiropractic care can cut down on low back pain, neck pain, and associated issues. While it may not seem like this impacts your work performance, we all agree that working through a board meeting with splitting back pain is no fun.
With all these chiropractic benefits in mind, it’s clear that taking care of your body truly is one of the most effective ways to take care of your life, and that simply keeping your back and neck in great alignment can go a long way toward keeping you healthy and happy at work and in every other area of your life.
5 Additional Tips for Beating Back Pain at Work
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to back pain. Here are five ways to keep it at bay in your office job:
1. Maintain Good Posture
As you sit at your desk, keep your feet flat on the floor and your back pressed flush against your chair. Your head should be in a relaxed, neutral position, with your ears positioned directly above your shoulders.
If you find yourself rounding your lower back to get into the right position to reach your computer, raise your office chair, so your thighs are at a slight downward angle. This will keep your weight distributed into your sit bones, and prevent you from slumping your head and shoulders forward.
2. Keep your Monitor and Keyboard in the Right Place
For best posture and the least pain, your computer should sit directly in front of you with the screen level with your nose.
Keeping your monitor at this height will prevent you from slumping your head down, which, in turn, increases the stress on your neck. If you work mainly on a laptop, working on a secondary monitor may help you avoid this, as it will lift your gaze up and put it into the correct position.
Once you’ve arranged your monitor just so, position your keyboard, so your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. The keyboard should be high enough that you’re not slumping down to touch the keys. The mouse should be at the same level.
If you’ve been using a laptop computer and experiencing neck pain, you may consider adjusting your setup to include an external monitor. While there’s some expense involved in this upgrade, this is a critical step in safeguarding your health and wellness.
If you absolutely can’t afford to add a monitor to your setup, consider investing in a laptop stand, which raises your personal computer to eye level, thus reducing neck strain and improving your posture. This is a small fix, but it’s an important one.
3. Move More
Most of the spinal issues caused by working a desk job come from a lack of movement and, thus, a lack of mobility. Fortunately, there’s a straightforward way to fix this: stand up more.
What most people don’t realize about the process of sitting in an office chair is that it can be fatiguing. The longer you sit there, the harder it becomes to hold good posture. With this in mind, get up and move as much as possible.
A standing or walking desk is a great option if your company will pay for it. There are also more straightforward ideas, like setting a timer on your phone that will remind you to get up and move a few times every hour.
4. Limit the Use of Your Phone
If people slump at their desks, they practically bend in half when a phone is involved. Because tablet and mobile phone screens are so small, the natural tendency is to bend forward when using them. Unfortunately, this head-forward posture can cause muscle strains, disk and joint injuries, and discomfort in the long- and short-term.
This said, be conscious about seeking to limit your phone time at work. If you must read emails or scan social media, use your desktop computer to do it.
5. Take a Walk
Walking is a great way to break up achiness that comes with sitting at a desk all day. For best results, walk around the office for every half hour you spend sitting. This will cut down on your chances of developing neck, back, and shoulder pain, and reduce tightness and achiness in your body.
If you need a reminder to go for a walk, set a timer on your phone. You can also get into the practice of walking each day on your lunch break or meeting up with an office friend for a quick walk at the end of the day. Walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator is also a great option!
The Link Between Offices and Back Pain
There’s virtually no way around it: if you sit at a desk for a living, you will experience back pain at some point in time. This is just a fact of life. Fortunately, you don’t have to live in said back pain. By understanding that the nature of your employment is likely to jam your spine all up, and then taking proactive steps to fix that, you can enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle and better performance at work.
If you’ve been experiencing chronic pain, headaches, or similar difficulties, talk to your chiropractor about your options. You’ll likely be surprised to find out that there are many ways to deal with such issues, and that chiropractic care can be a hugely effective option. Have any questions you want to be answered? Contact our team to learn more!