Back pain is one of the most common reasons that patients come to see our spine surgeons here at Elite Sports Medicine. Back pain is often caused by bad posture and being sedentary for too long. Learn simple ergonomic tools and tips you can use to reduce your back pain.
What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the scientific study of people within their working environment. An ergonomist is someone who aims to make sure materials are safe to use and designed to prevent work related injuries.
5 Tools Known for Helping Prevent Back Pain
Ergonomic tools can benefit your physical and mental health immensely. Whether you are working in an office or at home, it is important to protect your neck and back.
If you do not have ergonomic tools at your workplace currently, ask your employer if it is something that you can get.
1. An Ergonomic Chair
If you work a sedentary job, having an ergonomic chair is extremely important. Here are some features you will want to look for in an office chair:
- Head and neck support
- Adjustable back
- Adjustable height
- A backrest that supports the natural curve of the spine
- Padded material
2. Sit-Stand Desk
Having a sit-stand desk is a great way to increase energy and prevent back pain. Your body burns more calories standing than it does sitting, so it can even help with weight loss.
If you do not want to invest in a new desk, you can purchase a standing desk converter to go on the top of your desk.
3. Standing Desk Mat
Standing while you work can help to prevent back pain. If you have a standing desk, try adding a desk mat to your space.
Desk mats make standing more comfortable and offer support for your feet. If you want more than a standard desk mat, you can get a topographical desk matt. This matt style offers raised features that support the soles and balls of your feet.
4. Laptop Stand
People are working from their laptop now more than ever. Working from anywhere allows for more freedom, but it can come at a cost. When using a laptop, most people find themselves looking down for hours each day. This can be very problematic for the health of your neck and back. If you work from home, get a laptop stand so that you can look at your screen at eye level.
In addition to preventing neck and back pain, laptop stands can prevent wrist pain. Some laptop stands even have a section where you can place a keyboard or your phone.
5. Lumbar Support Cushion
A lumbar support pillow can be placed behind your back against a chair. It not only makes your chair more comfortable to sit in, but it also corrects your posture and prevents back pain.
Simple Ergonomic Tips to Prevent Back Pain
Not everyone wants to spend money to buy ergonomic tools; however, it is extremely important that you take care of your body.
Try these ergonomic tips to prevent back pain and neck pain.
1. Adjust Your Screen
Make sure your screen is at eye level and at least an arm’s length away. If your screen position causes you to look up or down, it can lead to neck pain and back pain.
If you have more than one monitor, put them close together and angle them so that you are not moving your neck as much.
2. Sit Up!
Leaning to far back or leaning to far forward can put loads of unwanted pressure on your neck and back. Make sure you are sitting up straight with your feet flat on the ground.
3. Prioritize Your Legs
Make sure there is plenty of room for your legs under your desk. Avoid sitting near boxes, cabinets, or other objects that could get in your way.
Avoid keep your legs crossed. Always aim to keep your feet flat on the ground. Lower your chair or get a footrest if needed.
4. Explore Other Ways to Talk on the Phone
If you work at a job where you are on the phone a lot, avoid putting the phone to your ear. Put your phone on speaker or use a headset to avoid neck pain.
5. Take Breaks
Taking breaks to stand or go on a walk in a great way to prevent back pain. Try to go on a walk once every day. It can be a 5-minute indoor walk around your office or a 30+ minute walk on outside on your lunch break.
Preventing Back Pain without Breaking the Bank
We know that investing in ergonomic equipment can be expensive, so we came up with a list of ergonomic items you can buy that won’t break the bank.
Looking for a new office chair? This is it. It has a variety of colors to choose from, making it look nice in any environment. Not to mention it has many ergonomic features!
It offers back support that goes with the natural curve of your spine and has an adjustable backrest and height. The seat is made from premium cushion material and is extremely spacious.
FEZIBO Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk
This standing desk allows for a large workspace without taking up too much room. It offers three different height settings, making it great for standing or sitting. It is easy for anyone to adjust the height using the electronic lift.
Sunflower Home Comfort Standing Desk Mat
This standing mat is optimal for foot comfort and back support. The raised areas of the mat allow for an anti-fatigue design. The different heights encourage leg and calf movements which can help stretch your muscles and reduce soreness.
Matladin Active Wooden Wobble Balance Board
If you want to get a workout in while you work, you need a wobble balance board. Like a standing matt, the balance board offers comfort and support to the feet. It also helps you to engage your core and move your body. Being active is one of the best ways to prevent back pain and this is a great way to do it.
Villsure Lumbar Support Pillow
This is one of the most affordable things you can buy to prevent back pain. It promotes good posture, offers comfort, and prevents low back pain.
You can use this in any chair whether it’s at home, the office, or your car!
Adjustable Laptop Stand
If you work from home, a laptop stand is crucial to have. This stand is compatible with most laptop sizes and is very adjustable. Additionally, this stand can fold flat, making it easy to put in a briefcase or bag.
Seek Help From a Back Specialist Near You
If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, seek help from a spine specialist near you. Our spine doctors treat patients in Nashville, Franklin, and Brentwood, TN. To schedule an appointment with one of our spine doctors, call us or request an appointment online.
Bhargava , H. (2020, May 2). Ergonomic tips for a home office. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/ss/slideshow-ergonomic-tips-for-a-home-office.
Safeopedia Inc . (2019, March 25). What is ergonomics? safeopedia.com. https://www.safeopedia.com/definition/50/ergonomics.