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How often have you found yourself unable to move from back pain, burdened by deadlines, but aching to take a break? When was the last time you could work comfortably for hours without your back turning numb? These questions provide vital clues about the health of your back and spotlight a common problem among the global corporate workforce; that back pain is becoming triggered increasingly due to poor posture.
The Intrinsic Link Between Poor Posture and Back Pain
The effects of poor posture are compounded over time, with repeated stress on your spine resulting in anatomical changes. Back pain is usually a result of the constriction of blood vessels and nerves in the back, but poor posture can also induce problems in the joints, muscles and discs. Interestingly, posture-linked back pain exhibits characteristics that are distinct from any other form of back pain. These include:
- Exaggerated pain during specific windows of the day
- Pain that stems from the neck and spreads to the back
- Pain that can be managed by shuffling positions, either while seated or standing
- Pain that is triggered by a new car, a new office chair, or a new work environment
Tips to Adopt a Good Posture
If you’ve been affected by back pain caused by poor posture, it is a good idea to reflect on how to make postural changes at home and in the workplace. A good posture can go a long way in alleviating back pain and arresting its damaging long-term effects.
- Say no to slumping – In day to day life, posture is seldom given priority. However, by making it a regular practice and weaving it into daily activities, you can coach yourself to slump less and walk taller. Posture is as crucial while walking as it is while seated. Some tips to note while walking include maintaining your head level, straightening your back, and landing heel-first.
- Opt for seating support – Many of us spend up to nine hours per day facing a laptop, with little activity, and few distractions. If most of your day is restricted to a chair, it is crucial that you maintain a good posture while seated. If you’ve been guilty of hunching, remember, it’s never too late to make the change. While seated, it is advisable to keep your back pressed against your chair, your shoulders upright and your head balanced. Keep your knees at the same level as your hips, your arms arched 75 to 90 degrees from your elbows and rest your feet flat against the floor.
- Be careful with weights – Weights can cause serious injury to the muscles, joints and discs in your back, if not lifted properly. Whether you’re lifting a heavy or light object, it is important to bear a few things in mind. Point your chest forward and bend your hips; this will ensure that your back is not bent while lifting. Keep the weight close to your body as you lift to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your back.
Good posture can help you gain more hours in a day and indeed improve your productivity and performance. It can also improve your quality of life, enabling you to be more active and more involved outside of the workplace. It’s incredible how small changes like these can help you get more out of life. Reclaim your lost time, one good posture at a time.
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