6 Ways To Protect Your Back If You Stand At Work All Day

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 14, 2022

Standing Desk and Your Spine

Millions of Americans are on their feet for the majority of their day when they’re at work, and while movement and activity can help you stay healthy, too much standing each day can take a toll on certain areas of your body, like your feet, hips and back. If you stand all day at work, you’ll want to be a little more mindful about how you work to protect your spine, both on and off the clock. In today’s blog, we share six tips for protecting your spine if you stand at work all day.

Protecting Your Spine If You Stand All Day At Work

As we mentioned above, there are some small tweaks that you’ll want to make to your daily schedule both on and off the clock if you want to protect your spine when you’re standing for the majority of your day at work. Here are three things you’ll want to do while you’re on the clock, and three things you should consider when you’re not at work. We’ll start with some on the clock fixes:

  • Wear Supportive Shoes – Whether you’re working construction or walking the sales floor, make sure that your feet are in comfortable and supportive shoes. Supportive shoes will ensure we walk with a proper gait, which can save stress on our hips and spine. Shoes with a high heel will shift your body weight forward and put more strain on your lumbar spine, which can lead to a number of different spinal issues.
  • Sit Or Shift – We’d love to sit here and say that all you need to do is take a 5-10 minute break every hour to help protect your spine, but we know that not everyone can find work tasks to do from a seated position. If you can find ways to accomplish some work while seated, plan your day and try to break up long periods of standing. If you can’t get off your feet, try to move a little or shift your position every so often. Standing in the same position will channel stress through the same muscles in your spine. Even just taking a couple steps or shifting your standing position a little can help prevent continued static pressure on some spinal structures.
  • Mind Your Posture – Finally, although it’s easier to have healthy posture when you’re standing as opposed to sitting, you can still end up hunching forward or leaning back when picking up heavy objects. Be aware of your posture throughout the day and make some simple corrections. It’s also a good idea to practice safe lifting practices if you need to lift or move heavy equipment.

Protecting Your Spine Off The Clock

You can also protect your spine at work by taking a few smart steps when you’re not on the clock. Those tips include:

  • Exercising – We understand that you may want to get off your feet at the end of your shift, but you can actually help to prepare your spine to handle the rigors of your work day by strengthening it through exercise. Try to carve out 30-45 minutes to exercise a few times throughout the week, and your back may soon feel better by the end of your shift.
  • Weight Management – This tip tends to go hand in hand with the above tip, but if you strive to work towards a more manageable weight, your spine will be under less stress both on and off the clock. Research has shown that losing just one pound can take four pounds of pressure off your spine, so just a little weight loss goes a long way. You can help your spine when you’re on the clock by shedding a few pounds off the clock.
  • Rest – Finally, your back and your body are going to need to recover from the stress of each work day, and your body does this best when you are asleep. Give your body plenty of this recovery time by getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. Sleep can help to calm inflammation, allow for muscle regeneration and remove toxins from our bloodstream, so make sure you get a healthy amount of sleep on a regular basis.

If you can do all of these things on and off the clock, your spine should be in good shape going forward. And if you need help diagnosing or overcoming a spinal issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at the Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.

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