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Back pain at your desk can be the result of bad posture while working on the computer all day long. Even though it might feel weird and uncomfortable at first, there are some easy changes you can make to get you in the correct posture.
When you are sitting, make sure your lower back has a slight arch. If you are slouching, it will cause increased pain in the back. You can sit upright or use a cushion/lumbar support. Many times people also say they feel like their feet or legs are going numb. This is often the result of your chair being too high or too low. You want your knees and hips to be at a 90-degree angle. If the chair is too high, you can place a box underneath your feet. You also want your arms to be in a relaxed neutral position. You can put your keyboard or laptop on books as well until it is in a comfortable position where your shoulders are not hunched up or stretched too far out.
Another great way to help prevent back pain is to have a sit to stand desk. This allows you to sit for awhile, and then stand up and even do exercises while you work. You should stop every 30 minutes to do some simple stretches and exercises to keep your body moving through out the day.
To start out, you can stretch your forearms to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are typing a lot through out the day, these will hopefully feel really good. Start off with your arm straight out in front of you. Bring your wrists downward or into flexion. If you need more of a stretch, push down with the other hand. Hold for about five seconds and alternate sides. Now bring your wrists upward to stretch the opposite side.
Next you will march in place. You don’t have to go high with the march, but you want to keep the blood flowing in your legs. You can start with 10-15 seconds and work your way up to a minute.
Then you will do some heel/toe raises to help prevent DVTs (Deep vein thrombosis). For the heel/toe raises, make sure to go as high up on your toes as you can to work the calf muscles. Then roll back onto the heels and pull your toes up to work the anterior tibialis muscle. Try not to stick your bottom back, just pull your toes up.
Finally you will stretch your hip flexors and calf muscles. These can get tight when you are sitting for a long time. This stretch is called a runner’s stretch. You want to lean against your desk or something sturdy. Place the foot you want to stretch behind you. Make sure to keep your heel down and your toes forward pointing towards the wall. With the other foot in front of you, like you are in a lunge position, bend your knee towards the wall until you feel a stretch through your back leg. Try to keep your back leg as straight as possible, and try to keep your upper body straight for the hip flexor stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times.