According to recent studies, 80% of all South Africans will, at some stage of their lives, experience a form of back pain, Netcare (2017). World Spine Day raises awareness of spine pain and the burden that spinal pain can have on a person. While we spend the majority of our days at work, it makes sense to practice techniques that will be kind to our spines as well as ease some stress. There are a few tricks that you can adopt to help your spine to feel more at ease.

Adopting an Ergonomic workspace for your spine.

Having an ergonomic workspace is a good place to start when wanting to relieve some stress on your spine. Office ergonomics help in making you more comfortable at work. It emphasizes how your office workspace is set up and helps decrease the stress that is caused by sitting awkwardly or doing repetitive tasks. Adopting the following ergonomic techniques will help your spine feel less stressed.

1.) Everything at arm’s reach for your spine:

You need to make sure that everything in your desk area is within arm’s reach. Everything that is around your desk that you can easily access within arm’s reach is called the “neutral reach zone”. Stretching further than the items in the neutral reach zone will cause strain. Although the “strain” seems small, this stress adds up over time to create musculoskeletal issues like pain and weakness.

2.) Adjust the monitor’s height and brightness:

Your computer monitors or laptop need to be adjusted to your eye level for your spine. Your vision should be naturally falling on your screen at work. You should not be in the position where you are leaning forward to see your screen. This works in the same way with the brightness and size of your screen. If you are squinting to read the monitor screen, you might need to adjust the text size or the brightness. Like previously mentioned, this strain adds up over time.

3.) Sitting correctly in your office chair:

When you have your desk and workspace set up correctly, the next step to take is to be sitting correctly at that desk. Making a few adjustments to how you are sitting in your chair at work can make all the difference with your spine. You can reduce back pain by making sure that your lower back is supported by your office chair. By having your lower back supported, your spine, neck, and shoulders should align properly, reducing the pain and increasing your comfort at work. You should also change the height of your chair to ensure that you can use your keyboard with your wrists and forearms in line with the floor. This can decrease the strain that we want to avoid on our spines.