The 3 Biggest Mistakes We Make Sitting at Our Desk

by Jonathan Cook

The 3 Biggest Mistakes We Make Sitting at Our Desk image

Back & neck pain is a common problem for people working at a desk from home...

With so many people working from home, and our work stations not being as well set up as in the normal office environment, back and neck pain is an ever-increasing condition presenting here at The House Clinics. Our backs are not designed to withstand long hours sitting down at a desk. In this static sitting position, a huge amount of strain is put on the muscles around the lower back, causing tightness of the muscles and joints. You may feel this tightness and pain in your lower back, but it can also manifest in your shoulders, neck, arms, hands, hips, and legs. Unless you take steps to protect your back, sitting down for long periods of time, can also lead to deterioration of the muscles around your back, and make you more prone to injury when doing other activities.

Chiropractor, Chris Julian (BSc Hons DC), based at The House Clinics, Bristol, talks us through the 3 biggest mistakes we make, which cause back & neck pain...



What can you do to protect your back at your desk?

It may be that your pain has become so bad that you need to seek treatment now. If it is persistent and invasive, it would be wise to get a check-up with your Chiropractor or Physiotherapist, and also to rule out any other factors that could be causing the pain. You could also try a Massage to release trapped muscles and nerves. Once your immediate symptoms have been resolved, you can follow these simple steps to protect your back in the future.


  • Take regular breaks from your desk.  You know it would make sense to get up regularly on a long haul flight to stop stiffness and cramping of muscles; well it's exactly the same at the office. Get up and walk around at least every hour if you can, even if it's just to go and get a cup of coffee or take a toilet break.


  • Ensure your chair is comfortable, supportive and ergonomically sound. Your hips, knees and elbows should all be at the correct angles - you can ask your Chiropractor or Physiotherapist for advice on this. It's such a crucial yet simple thing to get right - and your employer should support you in this.  


  • As well as your chair, you should check that your desk, computer screen and keyboard are all at the correct height in relation to your body. Again, get advice on this from your chiropractor or physiotherapist - they will be only to happy to support you in this.


Try these 3 simple exercises to relieve back pain and strengthen your back, without leaving your desk...


  • Seated Side Stretch [Lumbar Spine] - stay seated, feet planted firmly on the floor, and raise your arm up to the side. Then lean away from the raised arm. This stretches the lumbar spine on the side of the raised arm, hold this position or 20-30 seconds, and repeat 3 times. 


  • Seated Forward Stretch  [Lumbar spine ] - stay seated, feet planted firmly on the floor, and place your hand on your thighs. Lean forward, running your hand down your thighs on to the lower leg as far as you can, hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times


  • Seated Buttock  Stretch [Hip and Pelvic Joint] - stay seated, plant both feet firmly on the floor, and pull your knee up towards your chest. Place your foot on the other thigh and hug your knee to your chest, hold for 20-30 seconds, and repeat 3 times.


If these exercises cause pain or do not help and you suffer from back pain, or other pain associated with sitting at your desk for long periods of time, we are here to help you. Get in touch with our specialist team and get on the path to being pain-free.


Book online through the website or call 0117 9420200 to make an appointment.

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