How Ergonomics Can Improve Your Spinal Health

Statistical data show that 80% of Americans work a sedentary job, sitting on a chair before a desk. Moreover, 25% of Americans admit that they also have a sedentary lifestyle outside work. This is a recipe for chronic low back pain, because very few people know how to create an ergonomic environment at work and at home.

In this article, the specialists at our Greenville spine center will discuss the importance of ergonomics for spinal health. We will also offer helpful tips to create an ergonomic workstation at the office.

How Does Poor Ergonomics Impact Spinal Health?

The spine is the main support of our body. It helps us stay upright and bears the weight of the upper body. In order to stay healthy and continue performing these roles, the spine must be perfectly aligned.

This means that the entire weight of the body is evenly distributed on all the vertebrae, discs and surrounding ligaments. With poor ergonomics, the weight distribution is thrown off balance. Some areas of the spine have to bear more weight, and in time this leads to spine misalignments and other complications, such as:

  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disc
  • Chronic pain in the neck and lower back

The Number One Cause of Poor Ergonomics: The Office Desk and Chair

Healthcare specialists have already defined a growing problem – occupational low back pain. And the main culprit for this health problem is prolonged poor posture at the desk due to poor ergonomics.

Most office workers are not aware of how to set their computer, desk and office chair to create a neutral posture. Instead, they are slouching or leaning forward in order to see the computer monitor properly.

Long-Term Slouching Leads to Several Health Problems

After slouching over the desk for a few hours, you already feel tension in the neck and shoulders. Years of poor ergonomics at the workstation can lead to severe health issues, such as:

  • Worsening pre-existing conditions, such as degenerative disc disease and kyphosis
  • High blood pressure, due to the pressure on the blood vessels in the neck
  • Reduced lung capacity, due to the compression of the chest cavity

The good news is that all these problems can be prevented, or even corrected if you act quickly. By applying ergonomic principles at the workplace (and at home, as well), you will maintain a proper posture and avoid painful back and spine conditions.

poor posture at the computer can cause neck pain

Tips for Setting Up Your Computer in an Ergonomic Position

The specialists at our Greenville pain center know that the most common aspect of poor ergonomics at the office is how the computer is set up. The best practices for maintaining a correct posture while working on the computer are:

  • The monitor must be at eye level
  • The monitor must be placed at the right distance for optimal visibility without leaning forward
  • The keyboard and mouse must be placed at elbow level
  • The wrists must rest on the desk in a neutral position.

Other Ergonomics Best Practices for the Home and Office

Every aspect matters in creating proper ergonomics at the workplace and at home. Here are that some of the simplest ways in which you can maintain a poor posture and promote spine health:

  • Invest in an ergonomic office chair, with lumbar support and the possibility of adjustment in height and tilt
  • Choose a sit/stand desk if you spend long hours working on the computer
  • Take breaks and stretch your muscles to release tension from the neck and back muscles
  • Lift weights correctly, using the leg muscles, not the back

Doctors at Our Greenville Spine Center Can Help You Find Relief from Back Pain!

Despite your best efforts, wear and tear may cause you various spine health issues resulting in chronic back pain. However, you do not have to resign yourself to living in pain. Our team of experienced doctors will diagnose the root cause of your pain and recommend the best treatment options.

Call us today to schedule your first appointment at our Greenville spine center: 864-513-8950!