A lower back pain can be quite painful and create problems both in your personal life as well as your professional. It can distract you from your tasks and decreases your productivity during the day at home or in your office thereby increasing your stress at work.
Statistically, the most reported ailment among professionals in office environments is chronic back pain. Chronic back aches can last for a few months if not treated properly. It can affect both men and women irrespective of age. However, sitting continuously because of a desk job, as many do in the professional world, can put you at an increased risk of experiencing lower back pain at some point in time in your life. For those of you that may not be able to find the time to visit a therapist, there are a few things you can do to alleviate lower back pain, without leaving your desk.
Your goal is to increase the support of your lower back muscles and maintain a healthy core. The following exercises will help with just that, so let’s get started:-
- Avoid using your hands as support when you sit down or get up from your seat. You will make your lower back muscles stronger by lifting the weight of your upper body without the use of your arms. This is something you can do anywhere.
- If you work from home or work at a rather un-conservative office, get yourself an exercise ball/ Replace your desk chair with the ball for some time each day. It may take a little getting used to, but it will result in a stronger core and better support for your back as it helps stabilise your midsection.
- Whenever you feel your back starting to tighten up, wrap your hands over your shoulders, like you were giving yourself a big hug; inhale deeply and release the air by exhaling slowly. Repeat this with each hand over the other and it will help provide you with some relief from the ache.
- Do torso twists while sitting in your desk chair. Hold the back of the chair with your right hand as you turn to the right. Do the same thing with the left side of your body. See if your flexibility increases over several days of doing this exercise. Try and ‘extend your vision’ of what’s behind you while rotating. Watch your breathing and be mindful as you twist your torso back and forth in tandem with inhaling and exhaling. Do this slowly, there’s no rush. It will help stretch you out while working on your core and strengthening your back muscles.
- Look up while sitting down, lock hands and turn them toward the ceiling as you sit on your chair or exercise ball. Lift your joined hands over your head and also look up with your chin raised. Breathe in deeply and slowly exhale. Enjoy the stretch.
- Another way to help exercise those hip muscles would be to sit straight up on your chair with one leg resting on your lap. Hold your foot and your knee with your hands and slowly bend forward as much as you can. Repeat this with the other leg.
- While sitting at your desk, with your feet firmly planted on the floor and spread apart (at least 1.5 feet), slowly bend forward holding your legs till you touch the floor with your palms. Don’t forget to breathe slowly.
- Take a break for about 5-10 minutes every hour by walking around the office or campus. It gives you a short break from sitting with your back upright all day. Instead of discussing mundane details in an email with a co-worker in your building, take a walk up to their desk to have a quick talk.
With these simple exercises, your lower back aches will reduce significantly.