Back Pain Specialists’ Advice For New Jersey Office Workers

May 7, 2019 | Back Pain

Back pain specialists in New Jersey see a lot of patients whose primary complaint details back pain caused by long hours sitting at their desks and during their commute. Of the roughly 8 million New Jersey residents, 5.8 million are part of the workforce. Our average commute time is the third longest in the country! Then, a good number of commuters spend the next eight hours sitting at their desk, weakening their spine, and craning their necks to use their computers.

There has been a recent trend in office workers getting standing desks for work, and our back pain specialists in New Jersey stand behind this trend. Here we provide advice on standing desks and how to best use them to alleviate back pain caused by office work:

  • Don’t stand all day! Buy an adjustable sit-stand desk
    • All quality standing desks are adjustable, because you should be alternating between sitting and standing every 20 to 30 minutes.
    • Sitting for more than 30 minutes causes your metabolism to slow and can cause cardiovascular disease. It also causes your hip flexor muscles to shorten, which affects your posture and leads to back pain.
    • However, standing for too long can also have negative cardiovascular effects and compress your spine.
    • When starting out, our back pain specialists suggest your total standing time to be two hours each day while at work. From there, you can progress to four hours total each day. Remember to alternate every 20 to 30 minutes!
  • Do NOT lock your legs
    • This can affect your circulation, and you can even pass out!
  • Buy an anti-fatigue mat alongside your standing desk.
    • These mats provide the perfect cushion between feet and the hard floor. The slight rebound in them encourages you to move and helps prevent the aforementioned leg locking.
  • Set your desk at the proper height!
    • Make sure your elbow angle when your hands are at your keyboard is 90 degrees. Your hands should not be at your chest.
    • Your monitor should be at eye level or slightly below. If you are using a using a laptop, consider purchasing a keyboard to place at elbow level connected to your laptop at eye level.

On top of all this advice, our New Jersey back pain specialists want to emphasize you should still stretch, walk around, and take a break! Even though you are alternating between sitting and standing, you should still find time to move around. Our bodies weren’t meant to be locked in sitting or standing positions for long hours each and every day.

For more advice on how to manage your back pain, check out these blog articles dedicated to the topic.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about us and how we can help alleviate your back pain.