Back PainPage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/facilities/departments/ehs/backpain.html
Although back pain can be a debilitating condition, there are many things you can do both at the office and at home to prevent its onset.
At the Office
- If you spend most of your work day sitting down, shift your position frequently to eliminate strain.
- Improve your comfort and flexibility. Do gentle stretches at your desk every day.
- Use lifting techniques that support your back. Bend your knees, keeps the load close to your body and lift with your legs.
- For typing or computer work, use document holders or other devices to keep papers in an upright position.
- Stand tall. Put one foot on a small footstool if you're on your feet for long periods of time. Keep your knees flexed, not locked.
- Avoid crossing your legs when seated at your desk or workstation.
- Avoid twisting and lifting at the same time. Remember to keep your feet, knees and torso pointed the same direction.
- Know when your back is properly aligned (ears, shoulders and hips "stacked" in a straight line).
- Use a rolled up towel or pre-made lumbar support if your desk chair doesn't give your lower back the support it needs.
- Sit right. Keep your back straight. Place both feet flat on the floor or stool and keep legs at a 90 degree angle. Make sure the seat is flat or tilted slightly forward.
- If you have to lift an object that is above shoulder level, use a step stool or ladder to avoid over-reaching.
- Exercise aerobically for at least 30 minutes, three to four times per week.
- If you read in bed, prop up your back, shoulders, neck and head so you're sitting up straight and bend your knees.
- Split large loads into several smaller ones.
- Always bend your knees when lifting anything, whether it is a found penny, your young child or a 25 pound bag of pet food.
- Move your car seat as close to the steering wheel as is comfortable.
- Sleep on a firm mattress.
- Practice deep breathing. This is an excellent stress reduction technique. Too much stress often manifests itself as back pain.
- Pay attention to what you eat. Too much fat, sugar, salt, even protein can interfere with your good health. Eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, such as rice, noodles, and potatoes.
- Place your television at or slightly above eye level.