As consultants, we sit A LOT.
If your job relies on a computer, clients depend on you to be stationary. Initially, this isn't a problem. However, after a year or two of consulting, your body will start to shout at you.
Most of us fall into habits that cause bad posture without realizing it. Slouching in your chair or leaning forward to view your screen are natural tendencies that will cause problems in your lower and upper back. Sitting will start to feel uncomfortable and rather than focusing on work, you'll be focusing on why your back hurts.
Fortunately, there are solutions!
Here are a handful of ways we get our posture back inline.
- Be More Aware of your Posture - The first step is knowing the difference between good posture and bad posture. The next step is catching yourself when you fall into bad posture. Even though this seems obvious, it's much easier said than done. Here is a post that shows good posture for various positions.
- Get an Adjustable Desk - If you don't have an adjustable desk, I HIGHLY recommend getting one. Being able to switch between standing and sitting makes it easier to have good posture throughout the day. We have the BEKANT desk from IKEA and love it. Many of the reviews claim there are issues with the power supply but we haven't had any problems.
- Stretch and Roll Out - One of the most common reasons your back hurts is because the muscles around your back are tight and pulling in the wrong direction. Releasing the muscle tension in your legs will loosen the muscles pulling on your lower back. Most people don't realize this because the pain comes from your back, not your legs. This is the stretching routine we use for lower back pain.
- Exercise Regularly - Have you ever heard of the phrase, "if you don't use it, you lose it"? This is especially true for your muscles. If you don't use your muscles, they fatigue easily, which makes you more prone to slouching and bad posture. Get some weights or just go outside for a jog! Dicks Sporting Goods has a low cost dumbbell set that can be use for a variety of exercises.
- See a Chiropractor - Seeing a chiropractor will not only adjust your back, but they'll make you more aware of the specific problems you're having and how to fix them. This is not a "one and done" technique, but through regular visits you'll be able to track your progress and feel the results.