You don’t have to let your desk job ruin your back. Dr. Austin has some tips to help save yourself from a life of bad posture and a stiff back.
DEAR DR. AUSTIN: For those of us that sit at our desks all day, what are some tips to save our posture and backs? Also, what can we do on long flights to ease back, hip, and leg discomfort? — SORE BACK
DEAR SORE BACK: This is becoming a more and more prevalent issue in our modern, technologically driven world. A great solution is a standing desk. For those of you who are unable to get access to one, there’s still hope.
I recommend standing up and moving around every 45 minutes. Moving around will get the blood pumping and will also stimulate the flow of oxygenated blood in the body. Oxygenated blood is basically fuel for the body, so the more that circulates through the system ,the better.
Also make sure that you do plenty of ab/core strengthening exercises. As people sit, gravity takes over: the shoulders roll in, shutting off the abdominal muscles. When this occurs, the back will work extra hard to keep you sitting upright. Making sure to keep the shoulders back, and ensure that your ears are over your shoulders. This will help to reduce the strain. You might also consider getting your workspace an ergonomic assessment, an essential method for eliminating potential problems. At your desk or on a flight, ensuring that you have proper lumbar support is important. Bring a lumbar pillow with you wherever you will be sitting for long periods of time.
Do you have a question for Dr. Austin? Leave your question in a comment below, or e-mail him at [email protected]
Photo Credit: Flickr/JurgStuker