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  • Writer's pictureAmy Dougley

How to Care For Your Spine While Doing a Desk Job

Over the last several decades, more and more jobs have become desk type jobs, where larger numbers of the workforce are required to sit and work at a computer.  This trend has its challenges, because as we know, sitting is not good for our health, especially our spine health.  Those who work a desk job often will develop low back neck pain or headaches and this leads to thousands of lost work hours as well as millions of dollars spent on health care costs. In this article we will outline helpful tips that you can implement today to help care for your spine and prevent injuries and pain, if you have a desk job.

1. Get up and move around 

If you sit at a desk all day, it is imperative that you take every opportunity there is to get up and move around.  Try to identify tasks that can be done while standing and perform those tasks standing all the time. Perhaps while speaking to people on the phone you could stand up and march in place.  Or if you are on a long conference call, stand up and move around your space during the call. Movement and varied work positions are the key to preventing spinal problems if you have a desk job. 


2. Exercise before or after work

If your job involves sitting for most of the day, be sure to implement an exercise routine at least 3 days per week.  Remember that movement is key, and since you are working at a desk, moving around while not at work, might be your only opportunity to stay active.  Those who stay active, usually have much less pain and spinal problems than those who are sedentary.  

The key to sticking to an exercise routine is finding something you enjoy.  If you can participate in a favourite sport or perhaps you enjoy doing yoga, do just that.  You don't have to overthink it, just being active will have huge benefits to your overall health, including your spine health. 

3. Get a standing desk

More and more offices are implementing standing desk stations, because employers are realizing the impact that sitting can have on their employees.  If you don't have a standing desk, ask your employer today for one, or if they won't provide it, ask if you can bring your own in.  Not only will this investment save your spine, you might also find that you are more productive, because if you can stand up while working and get the blood moving through your body, your brain will become sharper too.  

There are products that convert a stationary desk to standing.  There is no need to spend lots of money, a simple platform that raises and lowers with your computer on it, is easy to install and readily available. 


4. See a chiropractor

If you are experiencing discomfort from sitting all day at work, you may need to consult with a chiropractor to see how this has impacted your spinal health.  They can order x rays, perform tests and evaluate the health of your spine easily.  If they detect problems that need correcting, they can implement a treatment plan to get you back to feeling your best. 

Chiropractors are also very good at ergonomics, so if you have questions about your workstation or perhaps need a medical reason to use a standing desk at work, see a chiropractor and ask if they would be willing to write to your employer on your behalf.  

Chiropractors can also help implement an exercise routine that is safe for you.  They will be able to tell you which exercises are safe and which ones to avoid. 

Dr. Spenser Dougley DC, FR, FRCms

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