Sitting may seem like a neutral activity, but did you know that spending hours sitting slumped over a desk can add pressure to your joints and muscles that can result in back and neck pain? At Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center, we want to discuss the potential solutions to back pain and neck pain caused by bad posture and sitting behind a traditional desk all day. For many people with a desk job, regular chiropractic care and a standing desk can be a great solution to this problem.
Are Standing Desks a Good Idea for Your Back?
While there are several causes for neck pain, many of them begin in the spine. The spine is designed to withstand a certain amount of pressure that’s necessary for performing physical activities and standing upright. However, undue pressure in the neck area can place extra stress on the discs, tendons, and muscles that form the neck and back.
How Traditional Desks May Be to Blame
A traditional desk is designed to keep an office person in a sitting position throughout the day. Sitting for extended periods of time can cause pressure and strain on the muscles in the buttocks, hips, neck, and back, which can result in pain.
The chair and desk themselves may not be the only things that can place strain on the body. If an average person works in an office and spends the majority of their time looking at a computer, pain in the neck can be from sitting too high or sitting too low. The pressure that’s placed on the neck muscles when sitting at the incorrect angle can be surprising and may cause a variety of health issues. Just a forty-five-degree bend in the neck results in up to fifty pounds of gravitational force placed on the muscles in the neck.
For many people who sit behind a desk for countless hours, the standing desk is a very attractive option. These desks claim they can relieve neck and back pain and improve posture, while also increasing productivity. Since standing desks are still relatively new, more evidence is needed to determine all of the health benefits you can expect from making the switch and the advantages of standing during the workday, as opposed to sitting.
What Do We Know About the Potential Health Benefits of Standing Desks?
There are some important benefits that come with making the switch to a standing desk that many office workers will be surprised to learn, such as because using a standing desk allows you to move around more throughout the day it has been shown to reduce back pain. While using a standing desk can improve back pain, it’s not a cure-all solution. For example, using a standing desk at the correct desk height may improve a person’s posture and can reduce pressure placed on the lower back and neck; however, it’s not enough to improve serious problems such as a bulging disc or scoliosis.
There are some health conditions that can also arise from too much standing. A patient at risk of vascular or heart conditions may develop varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis from standing too much. Other issues include back pain that’s caused by swelling in the legs, foot or leg pain, or poor posture.
You should also take into consideration the type of work you do before you decide to purchase a standing desk. Some people may find it easier to focus when they’re able to stand up and shift their weight back and forth while they’re typing or talking on the phone. However, others may have a harder time performing certain types of creative tasks such as drawing or writing while standing.
A Better Solution to Prevent Pain and Discomfort
Many studies have found that a standing desk can provide numerous health benefits to the average office worker, including reducing or eliminating pain in the spine. People who used standing desks in these studies reported more than a 30% improvement in their neck and lower back pain after using a standing desk for several weeks. That being said, it’s also important to note that the desks that were used in the study were sit and stand desks, which means the option to sit was still available. A person forced to stand for several hours can face other challenges due to muscle strain, just like people who sit behind a desk all day. A perfect combination of both sitting and standing throughout the day can offer a number of benefits that can prevent unnecessary neck and back pain. Many chiropractors now recommend a sit-stand desk so patients can enjoy the benefits of both options.
When using a sit and stand desk, make sure you have it set up properly. The desk and monitor should be set up at the appropriate height for the neck and back to achieve the correct posture. Placing a mat under the feet to absorb shock can help, as can taking occasional breaks throughout the day to change position.
If you’re experiencing back or neck pain, due to sitting behind a desk all day, the chiropractors at Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center are here to help guide you on your path toward living pain-free. We can provide treatment and make recommendations, such as making the switch to sit and stand desks, implementing exercises and stretching, and other positive lifestyle changes that can have a big impact on how you feel throughout the day at work.
Ease into Standing While You Work, Slowly
Going from sitting for eight hours a day to standing all day can be very taxing on the back, especially if you don’t give yourself time to adjust. Begin by standing for half an hour, a few times a day. Next, work up to one-hour blocks, then an hour and a half, then two hours straight. Eventually, you can stand as long as you’d like.
Standing in the same spot can make your legs and feet sore, especially if the floor is not carpeted. Wear supportive shoes when you’re standing while you work, to protect your feet. If possible, use an anti-fatigue mat, which is made out of a supportive material that cushions the feet and supports the arches to minimize fatigue and soreness in the legs and feet.
Change Positions Often
Standing can be just as harmful to your back as sitting. Make it a point to change your position every half an hour. When you sit, be sure that your neck and head are in a neutral position and that your lower back is supported. The knees should be kept in line with the hips, with the feet planted on a footrest or firmly on the floor. The shoulders should be relaxed. Pay attention to your body and change positions often to prevent stiffness, tension, or pain.
Contact Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center Today
If you have chronic neck or back pain, contact the chiropractors at Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center today. We can discuss whether or not you would benefit from a standing desk or a sit and stand desk, and what other lifestyle changes you can implement to improve your spinal health. We can also examine you to determine what types of chiropractic treatments can help relieve your pain, the frequency of treatment, and we can create a treatment plan based on our findings. If you’re tired of living in pain, contact our team today to schedule an exam and find out how Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center can help you on your path to wellness.