No question about this, globally, a large number of people unconsciously have been constantly applying a tremendous amount of avoidable stress on their lower back, on a daily basis. Some of these back stress are caused from faulty habitual sitting, standing, pushing, lifting, and so on.
It’s only a matter of time before we start to feel the accumulated effect of all these constant lower back assault, which may eventually lead to excruciating back pain, disruption of social life, sleepless nights or sleep disturbance, frequent calling off from work, huge medical bills, and even permanent disability. Nonetheless, there are numerous precautionary measures that one can take to minimize the chances of developing back pain caused from any of the above faulty habits.
Because a large percentage of Americans either spend a lot of time sitting(when working or driving)we will be focusing primarily on ways to reduce the chances of developing low back pain caused from faulty habitual sitting.
In my case for example, due to my past back pain history, over the years I have been trying to pay closer attention to the way I sit, stand, pull or lift heavy objects, etc.
However, because lately, unfortunately I have to frequently sit at work for long hours,and also drive for long periods on occasion, I have become even more concerned not only about the length of time I sit, but also how I sit. As a result, I have been practicing a few recommended tips provided by the experts, which I would like to share with you.
First, I will begin with the recommended chair and sitting position, while working on the job, and finally, the suggested manner in which you should sit when driving.
How to Sit while Working or Driving
Sitting While Working
When sitting on the job, here are some recommendations:
1.Use a chair that has the following:
- Angle between the backrest and seat that allows you to sit without leaning forward uncomfortably
- Adjustable armrests
- Slightly inclined backrest
- Allows for a variety of seated postures
- Swivel seat
- Seat height adjustability
- Seat pan adjustability
- Soft, rounded edges
- Size that fits you
- High and straight backrest or headrest for deeply reclining postures; and comfortable but slip-resistant fabric
- Adjustable lumbar support
2. Adjust the seat or use a stool under your feet to slightly elevate them while sitting, so that your knees are slightly higher than your hips.
3.If you have to sit for long periods, put a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back to relieve some of the pressure off you lumbar vertebra.
Make sure the pillow is not too large, or it may force you to lean forward a bit too much, creating even more strain on the lower back.
4.Move your whole body rather than twisting at your waist, when you turn.
5.Getting up from your chair occasionally to stretch or just walk around also helps a lot to relieve stress on the back, neck and shoulders.
Sitting While Driving
1.If you have to drive over a long distance, stop and walk around every hour or so. You may want to put a small pillow(not too large), or rolled towel behind your lower back if you must drive or sit for a long time.
2.Sit straight and move the seat forward as possible. This will help you to avoid leaning forward to reach the controls.
Don’t hurt your back, protect it. Why wait until it’s too late before you take action. There’s an old adage, “prevention is better than cure”, so get yourself a good chair — preferably one that’s ergonomically designed — and start practicing proper sitting habits.
1)MedlinePlus :A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine From the National Institutes of Health
2)American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA): An Ergonomics Approach to Avoiding Workplace Injury