Ergonomics; Creating a Back-Friendly Workspace to Combat Lower Back Pain

Woman with desk that is ergonomic
By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.

At the end of a long day of work, do you experience lower back pain? The problem may be in your workspace. Luckily, we have a few ergonomic tips to setup your workspace for success and find lower back pain relief.

Choose The Perfect Chair
If you are experiencing lower back pain when sitting, but not standing, it may be your chair. That is why you need an ergonomic chair that provides lumbar support. Ensure the chair's lumbar support fits the natural curve of your lower back, and if it lacks adequate support, consider using a lumbar roll or cushion.

Also, look at getting a chair that allows you to adjust the height, backrest angle and armrests. It’s important to adjust your chair height so your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest and your knees are at a 90-degree angle.

Tip: If your workspace has a carpet, consider using a chair mat to reduce the effort required to move your chair and minimize leg and lower back strain.

Set Up Your Tech For Success
How your monitor, mouse and keyboard are setup can greatly affect your lower back.

Monitor Placement: Position your monitor at eye level, directly in front of you, to avoid tilting your head up or down. This reduces strain on your neck and upper back.

Keyboard and Mouse Position: Keep your keyboard and mouse close enough so your elbows are close to your body and at a 90-degree angle. If necessary, use a keyboard tray.

Tip: Consider using ergonomic accessories like an ergonomic mouse, keyboard, or a laptop stand to optimize your setup further.

Pay Attention to Posture
Be mindful of your posture throughout the day. Sit back in your chair with your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and feet flat on the floor. This also plays into how you type. Maintain a relaxed and neutral wrist position while typing, and avoid resting your wrists on the desk or keyboard.

Take Breaks and Stretch Your Legs
If you are able, take regular breaks to stand, stretch and walk around. You may find instant relief just by standing up.

Tip: A sit-stand desk can be a great addition to your workspace.

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