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Sitting at a desk for most of the day can take a toll on your back. For office workers, back pain is one of the most common physical complaints. Prolonged sitting puts pressure on the spine and surrounding muscles, which over time can lead to discomfort.

Find out a few key reasons why desk workers commonly experience discomfort in their lower backs and learn tips to avoid unnecessary back pain.

The main causes of back pain for desk workers

Muscle Strain

Sitting hunched over a computer or with poor posture puts unnecessary strain on the back muscles as they are not used to being in the same position for long hours. This causes muscles to tighten up and spasm.

Weak Core

Our core muscles are not engaged when sitting still, so they become weak over time. A weak core cannot support the upper body well which shifts the burden to the back.

Why do office workers have back pain

Disc Pressure

Prolonged sitting can put pressure on the discs in the spine. Over time, this pressure may cause discs to bulge or protrude, pressing on nerves and causing pain.

Loss of Flexibility

Not moving around enough leads to loss of flexibility and mobility in the back. This makes it prone to injury with minor movements.


Tips to avoid it at work

To combat work-related back pain, it’s important for office employees to get up and move around regularly. Here are some steps office workers can take to counteract these risks and avoid unnecessary back pain:

  • Set an alert on your calendar every 30 mins to remind you to stand up, stretch, or walk around for 2-3 mins.
  • If possible, stand up while on phone calls or video meetings. Standing desks are also a great investment to avoid prolonged sitting.
Why do office workers have back pain
  • Take walking breaks during your lunch hour if weather permits. Getting your body moving during the break helps counteract hours of sitting.
  • Do simple stretching exercises at your desk targeting tight back muscles a few times a day.
  • Try using a stability ball instead of a chair to engage core muscles.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator for short trips within the office building.
Why do office workers have back pain

Small changes can go a long way in keeping office workers back pain-free. The key is to stay active even while working at a desk all day. Start moving more today.


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