Cubicle dwellers, take note: You don’t have to be doing heavy lifting to suffer from job-related back problems. Surprisingly, sitting puts more pressure on the discs in your spine than standing, and slouching in front of your computer, shoulders hunched forward, is just about the worst position possible.
The problem with sitting in front of the computer all day is that your back muscles—the very thing that keeps your spinal column up—are not getting exercise. This causes the back muscles to weaken, putting added stress on the ligaments, discs and small joints in the spine.
To ensure that you’re sitting smart:
- Make sure your computer screen is at eye level or no more than 15 degrees below that, so you can keep your neck straight.
- Rest your back against the back of the chair. A rolled towel or small pillow can help maintain your back’s natural arch.
- Get up and move around periodically.