Working With Back Pain? Try These Ergonomic Stretches
Has your back pain been putting a dent in your work-from-home productivity?
You’re not alone.
In fact, if back pain restricts you from being able to work productively or comfortably, you may be experiencing the effects of what experts “back” in 2018 have referred to as “Canada’s low back pain epidemic”! 😱
According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association, up to 85% of working people will experience lower back pain during their lifetime.
So, what’s an awesome desk job worker like yourself to do?
Implementing ergonomic exercises into your daily work routine can help increase concentration, alertness, and boost your overall morale in an office work environment -- and EFFYDESK’s got the latest scoop on back pain relief for you. We’ve gathered 4 of the best, doctor-recommended stretches to help you relieve back pain throughout the day.
Now, without further ado - let’s begin.
What is Lower Back Pain?
Back Care Canada, managed by the Canadian Spine Society (“CSS”), describes lower back pain as “anywhere along the spin, from the neck down. But the most common site of discomfort is in the lower back—the area between the bottom of your rib cage and the bottom of your buttocks.”
Back Care Canada also explains that lower back pain can be experienced either acute back pain (6 weeks or less), with a sudden onset of pain; or chronic back pain (3 months or more, consecutively), where there seems to be little to no improvement throughout time. “Sub-acute” back pain is experienced anywhere between 6 weeks to 3 months.
If you’re a desk job worker, poor posture and neglect of proper ergonomic practices at your workstation may result in prolonged acute symptoms of back pain, which can lead to chronic back pain in the long run.
Where Does Back Pain Come From?
How does this apply to you? What’s the culprit behind your back pain?
Well, lower back pain might come as a result of working from home and sitting too much on unforgiving wooden chairs.
Or perhaps your standing desk setup at home doesn’t allow for much movement, leading to poor posture and upper back and neck pain.
Sometimes, even bending down to pick up a pen that’s dropped on the floor could also do it for ya.
Solutions to Fixing Back Pain While Working a Desk Job
If you’re going to be working from a desk or using a laptop or computer screen for long periods of time, you should: ensure you’re exercising proper posture; that your office setup is optimized to help you work productively, and that you’re taking the measures necessary to prevent future back pain, too.
Ergonomic Stretches to Help Reduce, Relieve or Prevent Back Pain
Upper Back Stretch #1
You can be sitting or standing for this exercise.
1. Place both your hands behind your head as if you’re kicking back to relax on your favourite beach chair on a sunny day.
2. Bring your elbows back and imagine you’re trying to touch your shoulder blades together.
3. Expand your chest and lean back.
This opens up and stretches your chest and upper back, which is often hunched over from hours of desk work.
Upper Back Stretch #2
As with the previous exercise, you can be either sitting or standing for this stretch.
1. Give yourself a big hug (you deserve one!).
2. Your right hand should be on your left shoulder and your left hand should be on your right shoulder.
3. Take a full, deep breath while hugging yourself, and then exhale.
Expanding your chest stretches your upper back as you keep your arms wrapped around your torso.
Lower Back Stretch #1
1. While sitting, lean forward as far as you can, as if you’re folding your body in half.
If possible, place your hands on the floor or touch your toes.
2. You can also do this stretch standing up!
Just bend over and touch your toes.
Release all the tension in your back and exhale as you reach down.
This stretch is the opposite of the position you sit in all day at your desk. This relieves the pain that builds up in your lower back over the day.
Lower Back Stretch #2
This is a standing stretch.
1. Raise your arms above your head, palms together, and bend backwards as if you’re about to jump backwards off a diving board.
2. Be careful not to lose your balance! Lean back as far as you can.
Alternately, you can place your hands on your lower back as you stretch. This works well if you tend to lose your balance when you stretch your arms over your head.
This stretches your lower back and allows your whole body to release any tension.
Your Back Deserves the Best-- and So Does Your Office!
Once you’ve worked your way through all of these back pain exercises -- don’t forget to check out our article on office ergonomics while working from home to ensure proper sitting and standing at your standing desk.
Our ERGOMINDFULNESS blog by EFFYDESK has all the information you'll need to start implementing proper ergonomics into your workspace today.
What Else Can You Do to Ease Desk-Job Back Pain?
- Using a standing desk is a scientifically-proven way to reduce back and neck pain when working at a desk, but there are a few more ways to upgrade your office for increased comfort.
- Check out our bestselling, ergo cult classic anti-fatigue mats, which will relieve stress on your feet and lower back while standing over your workstation.
- While sitting down, why not treat yourself to a lumbar-supporting chair? The added back support will provide comfort while working and allow you to sit upright in a proper sitting position that will help with your back pain for good.
- Lastly, always make sure your neck isn’t straining to look at your monitors, as this contributes to upper back stiffness. Use a monitor mount to make daily screen adjustments easy and effortless!
Furthermore, we all know it is difficult to be productive without getting enough rest. If lower back pain is preventing you from having a good night sleep, check out this article.
Looking for a Standing Desk? EFFYDESK is Here to Help!
At EFFYDESK, we design, mould, and deliver Canada’s #1 Electric Standing Desk right to your doorsteps. Our seasoned, award-winning engineers design and produce EFFY products to perfection, and our ergo office solutions are trusted by brands, content creators, retailers and redistributors all across Canada.
You can count on us to bring cutting-edge and sensibly-priced modern ergonomic office furniture from A to Z, to the table:
- Monitor Desk Mounts - help to reduce, relieve and prevent neck pain/tension.
- Ergonomic Office Chairs - help to alleviate and heal from back and/or other bodily muscle aches/pain/tension.
- Sit-Stand Motorized Desks - feature a Height Adjustable Dual Motor frame with incomparable quality, and state-of-the-art LED Display Memory Keypad that is designed to last.
Get more done, more comfortably.
Get Ergo-Minded with EFFY.