Do you suffer from back or neck pain? If so, you are not alone. University of Carolina researchers found that 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain in their lifetime with losses of over $100 billion a year stemming from decreased worker efficiency and healthcare costs. Back pain appears to be on the rise, especially with the advent of technology. Children grow up hunched over phones and tablets playing games only to grow up finding themselves hunched over their keyboard at work. According to the European Journal of Pain, there is a correlation between age and back pain, with a 13% increase in chances of death for those with chronic back pain in later life.
Posture Pump states that most back and neck pain is attributed to poor posture. Since the neck and spine are connected, a problem in one area can lead to problems in the other. When you are slumped over your computer you are putting a lot of pressure on the muscles in your neck and back leading to aches and pains. Spine Health confirms that this long exposure to poor posture puts unneeded stress on one’s joints, muscles, and spine leading to further pain.
The importance of good posture is clear for our health and well-being. What is the ideal posture then? The Cleveland Clinic states that one should sit upright, with hips balanced, shoulders pulled back, spine erect, and feet planted squarely on the floor. It is important to note that your spine is naturally curved so a chair with lumbar support is beneficial. When standing it is best to remain upright so that your body is stacked in a way to best support itself. An erect posture not only improves your health and reduces pain but can make you appear more confident.
Even with proper posture, sitting for long periods of time is still unhealthy and can have dire consequences in the long run. Standing desks are highly recommended as they keep you in a more active, upright position. It is also important to remain active and take a break from sitting at least every 30 minutes. We simply were not made to sit for long periods of time, so it is important that we find ways to remain active throughout the day, such as walking around while talking on the phone or using an active desk. Manufacturers such as Flexispot have many desks that can easily convert between sitting and standing, allowing you to alternate between the two. If that isn’t enough, try a desk bike, which fuses bike and desk, allowing you to sit, stand, or cycle while working. Developing good posture is essential to avoiding back and neck pain but takes time and effort; these useful products help make it a more painless transition into a healthier lifestyle.