Our backs were not designed to spend long periods of time sitting at desks – a common feature of many work environments.
In the office
Spending six to eight hours a day in front of a computer can lead to shoulder, arm, hand and neck problems, as well as issues with balance and coordination.
One study has found that over 45% of office workers experience neck pain. Back problems are big contributors to lost productivity in the workplace.
Low back pain is one of the most common causes of disability among people of working age, and its impact on industry is enormous. It’s been reported that after headaches and colds, back pain is the third most common reason for taking time off work.13
Specifically, the work-related physical activities that are believed to be related to the onset of low back symptoms include lifting heavy weights, bending and twisting, and, of course, working in the same position for extended periods.
Common Posture Problems
Forward Head Posture
Forward head posture is the most common postural defect found in computer operators.
Round Shoulders is distinguished by the hunched over appearance it creates, and is a poor posture that is often associated with office workers and computer operators.
Rotate hips can be caused by holding a poor position for a long period of time, such as sitting at your desk twisting to write as well as looking at the computer.
In severe cases, long term bad posture can lead to Scoliosis, a condition that results in the spine twisting from left to right, instead of running in a straight line from top to bottom. Depending on the severity, scoliosis of the spine can have a detrimental impact on vital organs, such as your heart, liver and kidneys.
The good news is that postural issues can be corrected, and even, in some instances reversed.
When in a working environment that requires a lot of desk and computer work, make sure your workstation equipment is ergonomically sound. See ergonomic tips.
Take regular breaks – in fact you should take a 1 – 2 minute break every 30 minutes you spend sitting at a desk or workstation.
Your local CAA chiropractor can assess your spinal health and provide the chiropractic care needed to improve it.
Your chiropractor can also provide guidance on some exercises that, when done regularly, will help to strengthen your muscles and maintain improved posture.
Every year thousands of children across the country return to school in January and it is important that every year parents look at the quality and fit of their child’s backpack, as heavy, incorrectly fitted and badly packed school backpacks can lead to spinal health problems as a child grows.
Spinal health is crucial at any age, especially for children, and items like heavy backpacks may cause strain and discomfort to the spine. Although spinal pain can be attributed to a number of factors heavy and incorrectly worn bags may lead to poor posture, slouching and uneven hips.
If you are worried about your child's backpack weight, here are a few lifestyle and backpack modifications tips:
What to look for in a backpack
1. Make sure the backpack is the right size for your child, no wider than their chest and no lower than the hollow of their back.
2. A moulded frame on the back, that when adjusted fits their spine.
3. A bag made from a light weight material like canvas, with two padded straps.
4. Adjustable waist and sternum straps.
5. Separate compartments that allow for easy packing and weight distribution.
How to carry the backpack in a 'spine-safe' way
1. Ensure that the weight of the backpack is no more than 10% of your child’s weight when packed. Only pack essentials to lessen the load, perhaps use school lockers if available.
2. Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine and make sure all zippers are done up all the way.
3. Secure the sternum and waist straps (they’re there for a reason).
4. Always wear both straps, tell the kids it’s not cool to ‘one-strap it’ anymore.
Source and for further tips: https://chiropractors.asn.au/resources/health-initiatives/backtoschool