On average, did you know that the regular Malaysian spends up to six and a half hours per day “seated”? During that time, most of us are either hunched, slouched, or slumped over our desks. As a result, we have become all too familiar with the chronic back pain that comes with incorrect posture and bad working habits. There is, however, a quick solution to such an issue. It begins with ergonomics - office accessories that encourage proper posture and alleviate back strain.
6 Ergonomic Tips to Relieve Back Pain
1. Ensure a comfortable viewing height
In this day and age, most of our office interactions, by virtue of efficiency or social responsibility, will tend to occur virtually. By extension, our laptops and monitors have become indispensable tools in our daily routines. Ideal ergonomics advise that your monitor or laptop be located either at eye level or slightly below it to avoid constantly tilting your head downwards. When we spend all day straining our heads down towards our monitors, it’s only natural that we become plagued by chronic shoulder and neck fatigue.
2. Protect your back while sitting
You might not put much consideration into the chair you sit on, but when you spend as much as a quarter of your day on it, your seating options should be more carefully thought out. Whether it’s working from home or from the office, a good ergonomic office chair with lumbar support is vital to facilitating good posture and cushioning your back from chronic pain. Prioritise a chair that helps reinforce your spine’s natural ‘S’ shape, either via a lumbar cushion or an adjustable backrest.
3. Use a footrest to avoid dangling feet
In situations when you’re faced with a table that’s too tall and you have to adjust your seat upwards to maintain proper eye level with your monitor, you might leave your feet exposed and dangle off the ground. As inconspicuous as this sounds, being unable to plant your feet firmly on the ground puts undue strain on your waist and pelvis. To avoid persistent lower back pains, utilise a footrest to relieve the pressure on your lower body.
4. Position commonly used items within arm reach
Apart from your monitor, it is also imperative that you keep your mouse and keyboard spaced towards you comfortably. If you feel like you need to lean forward to scroll with your mouse or type on your keyboard, that is definitely a red flag. Take a moment to look around your workspace and observe which items you interact with the most - they should all be within reach and not require unnecessary constant stretching to use. Remember that hunching over while typing for hours on end is a one-way ticket to chronic back discomfort.
5. Use an anti-fatigue mat if you’re standing
As more and more offices adopt an open design concept, standing while working has also taken on a new life. Via the use of portable ergonomic desks, employees are encouraged to mingle and network with different team members. If that sounds like you, someone who enjoys being on their feet all day, take note that prolonged standing might cause back pain as well. To circumvent this issue, support yourself with an anti-fatigue mat to help reduce the physical exertion on your feet and back.
6. Take regular breaks
It goes without saying that regular breaks are important - standing and stretching every thirty minutes allows your body to decompress and relax. Not only will you find yourself more refreshed physically, but this brief pause also provides a form of mental reset, reducing the cognitive tension that you’re carrying.
Give Your Back the Comfort it Deserves
The smallest changes to our office habits can have a massive effect on our health. Simply adding a backrest cushion to your existing office chair will significantly improve posture and overall physical condition. For all your ergonomic and posture comfort needs, Ergoworks has you covered. With products professionally endorsed and recommended by The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) and the Singapore Physiotherapy Association - start exploring our range of products or visit our showroom today.