How to Stop Pain When Sitting All Day at Work
Work Wellness

How to Stop Pain When Sitting All Day at Work

|Jan 28, 2023
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Do you work in an office or another setting in which you spend a lot of time sitting? Can you get a chronic illness from doing nothing? Yes, it turns out that as we become more sedentary, "sitting diseases" and other health issues are on the rise. 

Here are some tips for reducing the risk of developing chronic illnesses and relieving pain, whether it be due to an increase in the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or simply increased pain from sitting at a computer. 

Back Pain

One of the most common problems brought on by spending all day at a desk is back pain. Upper and lower back pain are the most dominant aches. Both can result from spending all day at a desk, although the causes of each one differ. Let's explore each in more detail. 

Upper Back

Essentially, the upper back of your body is made up of 12 bones. The first is at the base of your neck and the twelfth ends just below your ribcage. Upper back pain consists of any pain that occurs within this area. 

Furthermore, upper back pain is usually brought on by poor posture, this is because it’s easy to unintentionally slouch in your chair while working at a desk. However, if you want to get rid of the pain, try these tricks: 

  • Take Regular Breaks. Try standing up and moving about once in a while. This will relieve some of the tension put onto your body from sitting all day, and it will also allow you to move the other muscles in your body. 
  • Take Stretch Breaks. This is very similar to the first recommendation, but you want to make sure you are stretching your muscles properly to prevent them from becoming tight. 
  • Regular Massages. Consider getting a massage regularly to help relieve some of the strain in your back. 
  • Work with a Physical Therapist. A physical therapist can help you work on keeping your joints healthy and strengthening your muscles. 
  • Improve Your Posture. Pay attention to your posture whether you're standing up or sitting down. This is important for avoiding back pain. 

Lower Back Pain

More than 50% of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.

Lower back ache is pain experienced in the vertebrae known as L1 through L5. Our vertebrae have discs, which are sacs that keep them from rubbing against one another. Bad posture, which compresses those discs, is a common reason for lower back pain. 

Like upper back pain, lower back pain can probably be fixed through lifestyle changes, one of the most common being working on your posture. However, there might be more going on, for example: 

  • Sciatica: This is pain that runs from the base of the spine down your legs.
  • Herniated disc: The pressure on the disc that causes it to reshape, which triggers lower back pain. 
  • Muscle strain/lumbar strain: Overuse of the muscles that cause pain to spread into your buttocks (but not into the legs). 
  • Degenerative disc disorder: This is when discs in the lower back are damaged.

Standing Desks

How to Deal with Back Pain from Sitting at a Desk

The most common and potentially most unpleasant type of back pain is back ache from desk work. It seems odd that sitting down would result in such discomfort, but this is how it works. 

Essentially, the first change you could see as your lifestyle becomes more sedentary is weight gain. Lipoprotein lipase, a chemical that aids in the processing of carbohydrates and fats, is released by our muscles during exercise. 

Without exercise, this molecule's production decreases, and the pounds begin to pile up. 

Extra weight, especially around the stomach, can put strain on the lower back as that curve develops. Herniated discs and other severe spinal injuries may arise from this.

Without use, the powerful lower body muscles—the calves, quadriceps, and glutes—also start to atrophy. 

This weakness can cause us to rely on other parts of the body to hold us up, taxing muscles that are unused to this sort of task. Hamstring stiffness can also compress the lower back by pulling on it. 

The hip flexors in the front of the hips get shorter as you sit for longer periods. If you slump your shoulders, you might experience more pain from sitting all day. 

How to Sit at Your Desk to Avoid Back Pain

Start with the basics: ergonomics and good posture. Essentially, the study of ergonomics focuses on how people work. 

The focus is on the physical way we use our bodies in the course of our workday, with an eye to minimizing the potential for injury due to over or improper use of our musculoskeletal system (bones and muscles). 

Set yourself up for a pain-free workday by ergonomically modifying the way you sit at your desk. Sit as close to your desk as is comfortable to avoid the tendency to reach forward, placing an unnatural curve in your upper back. 

Keep a firm stance and position your knees directly over your ankles (use a small stool or cushion if your feet do not reach the floor). 

Your hands should be at a 90-degree angle to the work surface, and your upper arms should remain parallel to your spine. The following accessories can be useful if you make these modifications and discover that your chair or work surface is not suitable for an aligned posture. 

Best Accessories for Reducing Back Pain

Essentially, the best office equipment for reducing back pain makes it easier to customize your workplace to your needs. Look for features in desks and seats that you can modify (instead of you adjusting to ill-fitting tools). 

This includes desk chairs with: 

  • Adjustable seat and arm heights
  • Adjustable lumbar support
  • The correct seat depth to support proper posture all day long 

Stability balls, treadmill desks, and sit-to-stand desks are devices to promote core engagement. Every type of desk has perks in that it promotes mobility throughout the day, supports good posture, and can be tailored to your needs. 

Fitness Accessories

How to Relieve and Prevent Back Pain from Sitting All Day at Work

Even with good posture and an ergonomically sound workstation, it's important to sometimes add movement into your day. Every half hour, set a timer for a stretch break, and every hour, take a stroll around the house. 

There are certain chair yoga poses and leg exercises with a chair that you can add in place of a walk if you are unable to leave your desk due to an urgent deadline. 

These poses can be completed at any fitness level; it’s amazing how much you can get your heart pumping by doing a few deep breaths in a chair-supported warrior pose! 

After work, don't forget to integrate some full-body exercises for sitting all day. Taking a short stroll through the park or in the woods can help ease and avoid back pain from sitting at a desk. 

Additionally, active sitting can be another way to alleviate back and shoulder pain as well as promote a healthy state of mind. 

How to Deal with Neck Pain from Sitting All Day at Work

Your neck pain from sitting at a desk is a symptom of your overall poor posture or pain from low-quality office chairs and workstations. We have evolved into a culture of "neck forward" people because we reach our heads forward and down to look at our cellphones and computer screens. 

However, consider this: for every inch your head sits forward of your shoulders, an additional 10 pounds of pressure is placed on your spine. Imagine having to do it at work for eight hours a day; that may be a real struggle! 

Your risk of disc herniation rises because of the extra pressure this forward-leaning posture puts on your shoulders and upper back. It will also make your breathing difficult and may cause numbness in your hands because the nerves leading to these regions are squeezed. 

The Best Accessories for Reducing Neck Pain at Work

Many wonder if standing is better than sitting, and a few professors say that it is. Consider monitor stands and desk mounts with adjustable heights if your monitor is not positioned properly. Even a sit-stand desk can be customized to fit your needs and alleviate the pressure on your back. 

Do you often find yourself reaching for objects that are a little too far away? To lessen the effort of stretching forward, consider organizing your desk so that everything is more conveniently within reach.

Other Forms of Pain

Believe it or not, simply sitting at your desk all day long can cause other types of pain you might not expect. 

Tension in the neck and shoulders can lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJ) in some people. This discomfort may be alleviated with a TMJ massage. 

We can all guess that sitting down for a prolonged period can be really uncomfortable. Moving your body is a quick and effective treatment for this condition. Simple stretches, frequent breaks, and extra activity during the day can all substantially reduce the harmful effects of prolonged sitting. 

Tweak Your Setup

Whether you sit at a desk, on the couch, or in bed to work or study, there are ways to make your setup more comfortable and ergonomic. Try raising your laptop if you use one so that the screen is at eye level. Your posture may be impacted by a high or low screen, which might cause neck or back pain. 

Use a separate keyboard and mouse to allow your shoulders, elbows, and wrists to be in a comfortable working position. 

Many of us run to our phones when it's finally time to leave Zoom, which may be worsening our neck or back ache. To avoid this, try to hold your phone up to eye level more frequently instead of peering down at it. This can help lessen the irritation in your neck. 

Best Chair for Sitting All Day

Anyone who has back issues or needs to sit for prolonged periods of time each day will find the ErgoChair Pro to be the best chair for sitting all day. You always feel comfortable and relaxed, even after several hours of use in this reclining chair

From the neck to the lower back, the backrest's firmness and flexibility allow it to fit any spine perfectly. Furthermore, the height-adjustable back support can fit all body types, and this is one of the reasons why it was chosen as the best chair for sitting all day! Essentially, there is no doubt that this will be one of the best ergonomic chairs you’ve ever seen! 

Dimensions29”L x 29”W x 46” - 50”H
Seat height

18” - 20”

MaterialsPolyester fabric with molded foam interior and durable nylon plastic frame; PU handrest pads
ColorsCool Gray, Evergreen, All Black
Red Apple, Black & White, Baby Blue
Weight capacity300 lbs
Warranty2 years
FeatureAdjustable height, armrest, headrest, backrest, and seat tilt

Dimensions28”L x 28”W x 40” - 44”H
Seat height17” - 21”
MaterialsNaked TPE version: 100% TPE upholstery with ABS plastic frame.
Mesh version: 100% TPE and polyester fabric upholstery with ABS plastic frame.
ColorsBlack Frame, Naked Black TPE
Black Frame, Naked Grey TPE
White Frame, Naked Grey TPE
Grey TPE with Blue Mesh
Grey TPE with Grey Mesh
Black TPE with Black Mesh
Weight capacity300 lbs
Warranty5 years
FeatureAdjustable armrest, back tilt angle and tension, seat height

Amazing Stretches for Sitting All Day

Here are some easy seated stretching routines and mobility exercises to help you fight the negative effects of sitting. 

1. Lunge and Rotate

This is one of our best stretches for sitting all day because it offers excellent value. In the deep lunge position, we expand and stretch the glutes and adductors on the front leg and the hip flexors on the back leg, and we encourage extension and rotation through the upper back. All these exercises are excellent for improving a slumped posture at a desk. 

2. Hinge, Hold, and Stretch

Stand up with feet at hip width with soft knees. While keeping a neutral spine and engaged back muscles, break or hinge at the hips. In order to avoid hunching over, you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings while using your back's postural muscles. 

It's natural to have some muscle tiredness after holding this position for a while. 

3. Walking

If you spend most of the day sitting at a computer, get up every 30 to 60 minutes and go for a short walk and do a few exercises for sitting all day. To get in more steps, walk to work or get off the bus at a different stop than usual. 

Try listening to audiobooks while you walk instead of reading books if you usually read them. Find ways to include more walking into your daily routine; it will add up over time. 

Treadmills

Conclusion

We hope this article has provided you with enough ways to get rid of your pain when working and sitting all day. Essentially, we suggest buying an ergonomic desk chair first for maximum support. Feel free to buy an ergonomic chair on our website today!

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