A recent poll taken by Gallup found that the average work week in the US has extended from the standard 40 hours to a lengthy 47 hours per week — that’s almost an extra whole day at the office!
Did you know that back pain is the second most common reason for missed work days and doctor’s visits?
We’ve got a hunch that these two are related: as we spend extended hours at our desks, we may be doing some serious damage to our spines by slumping over our computers as the day catches up to us. It’s becoming increasingly important to stay mindful of our posture and to stay in back-healthy positions throughout the day.
Here are 5 tips to keep those backs happy and healthy during your workday:
1. Stay Hydrated. Drink LOTS of Water.
Drinking lots of water has its obvious benefits: replenishing H2O, flushing out toxins, clearer skin, weight-loss, and even muscle pain relief.
But we’re after something a little different here (think many trips to the loo). Staying hydrated throughout the day is a great natural “alarm” to get you up and moving — at least to the bathroom.
Here at Lumo BodyTech, we are believers that the best posture is the next posture. Staying in a static position, even in relatively good posture isn’t ideal for our spines. Drinking lots of water is a healthy reminder to get up every once in a while and log some steps on your way to the bathroom.
2. Stretch Often.
Depending on your office environment, you may not want to be doing crazy yoga stretches at your desk and attracting unwanted attention (we’re all for it, though!). But there are plenty of office-friendly stretches you can do right at your desk.
Check out these 10 stretches you can do at your desk to stretch out your neck and back muscles for instant relief.
3. Get Your Workplace Onboard.
Like any new habit, the best way to stick with it is to get the people around you invested in the same goals. Get your co-workers educated and excited about maintaining a back friendly office environment. Who couldn’t benefit from more energy and increased productivity?
Suggest having standing group meetings or do walking meetings for your one on ones, invite coworkers to go on lunch strolls and participate in stretches with you. Getting other people involved helps to keep you accountable for your actions and can help greatly in sticking to new habits.
4. Try a Yoga or Pilates Class.
The Yoga and Pilates trend isn’t just for the super-flexible and super-zen. It’s a great workout for stretching out muscle groups all over your body and re-aligning your spine.
If you haven’t already, give it a shot at your gym or your local studio. There are plenty of beginners classes available, and many places now offer free or discounted community classes — perfect for trying it out without committing to a full membership! Doing Yoga or Pilates once a week or even bi-weekly can help in supporting spinal re-alignment, reducing stress, and muscle tension.
Give it a shot to see what the benefits of hour-long stretching and a core-centric workout are like. We think you’ll love it!
5. Find the Right Equipment.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but having the right office equipment, like monitor risers or a chair with good lumbar support, can make or break good posture habits — even if you are working from home. Setting yourself up for success at your workspace can go a long way in maintaining back-healthy positions. You can’t stay in good posture if you have to hunch over just to see your screen!
Invest in proper equipment or get creative with what you have on hand to help you maintain a healthy posture all day long. There are many equipment options out there designed for optimal spinal positioning like ball chairs, standing desks, and for the super committed: treadmill desks.
Get extra posture help with Lumo Lift
Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone, Windows desktop and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money-back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.