Can Working in an Office Cause Low Back Pain?

Can Working in an Office Cause Low Back Pain?

While an office may not be the first place to come to mind when thinking about work-related pain or injuries, the fact is that office workers are at risk of problems like low back pain and injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

If your job requires you to spend several hours sitting at a desk, maintaining good posture lowers your risk of developing back pain and other work-related injuries.

At Republic Spine and Pain, our team of pain management specialists offers a range of services to manage and treat acute and chronic pain at three convenient locations in Georgetown, Leander, and Austin, Texas.

How working in an office can contribute to low back pain

Health professionals have warned about the risks of a predominantly sedentary lifestyle for a while. From heart disease and weight challenges to poor circulation and depression, sitting for prolonged periods is bad for your health.

Sitting at a desk for several hours daily also causes low back pain and stresses your spine and neck. Here are some of the factors that increase your risk of developing low back pain if you work in an office:

1. Prolonged sitting

Many office jobs involve long periods of sitting, which puts pressure on the spine and leads to muscle strain and pain in your lower back.

2. Bad posture

Sitting for extended periods can lead to poor posture, especially if you’re slouching or hunching over a keyboard. Over time, poor posture can strain the muscles, ligaments, and discs in your spine, increasing your risk of back and neck pain.

3. Lack of movement

Insufficient movement can contribute to muscle stiffness and tension in your lower back.

4. Ergonomics

An uncomfortable chair, a desk at the wrong height, or inadequate lumbar support can contribute to bad posture and increase your risk of developing low back pain. The proper ergonomic setup at your workstation lowers your risk of developing neck pain, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

5. Repetitive tasks

Office jobs typically involve repetitive tasks like typing or frequently bending and twisting. Repetitive activities also strain the muscles in the lower back, increasing your risk of developing back pain and stiffness over time.

Taking a few precautions can protect your spine and reduce your risk of developing low back pain.

How to prevent low back pain when you work in an office

Here are some tips to help you maintain good posture and reduce your risk of developing pain at work:

Stretch and exercise

Take regular breaks to stand and stretch your lower back, legs, and hips.

Set up an ergonomic workstation

Position your computer monitor at eye level, and use a keyboard and mouse placed at a comfortable height, allowing your elbows to rest at a 90-degree angle on your desk. 

Manage stress

Stress can also contribute to muscle tension and exacerbate back pain. Add stress management techniques, like deep breathing, yoga, or meditation, to your daily routine.

Stay active outside of work

Engage in regular physical activity outside of your office hours to strengthen your back and improve your fitness. Incorporate exercises that focus on core strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.

For more information about low back pain, contact Republic Spine and Pain today to schedule an appointment with a pain management specialist at one of our locations in Georgetown, Leander, or Austin, Texas.

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