Having pain at work is the last thing we want to worry about on a busy day. Our bodies are not designed to stay in any posture for long periods of time, when we do, our muscles get tired. All static postures become uncomfortable over time, with back pain being a common complaint. What can you do to prevent this at work?



Don’t underestimate the importance of how your work station is set up. Particularly when you do the majority of your work here.


Your Chair Place your feet firmly on the floor. Alter your chair height so that your knees are at 90 degrees. Sit all of the way back into your chair and keep the backrest in contact with your back. If your chair has an adjustable lumbar support, position it to meet the curve at the lower part of your back

This example shows a well set up chair where the feet are supported on the ground, knees are at 90 degrees, and the person is sitting fully back into the chair with the back supported.

Desk- Once you have set up your chair appropriately, it’s time to take a look at your desk. When your desk is not at the correct height you may find yourself leaning forward or backward. This is likely to put added strain on your back muscles. Your desk height should allow you to work comfortably with your elbows close to your body at a 90-degree angle. Continue to keep your back in contact with the backrest.

Example of leaning forward, in this example the keyboard & monitor are too far away. The desk is too high.


Here are two simple stretched to incorporate into your daily routine at work.


Back Extension– Stand with your feet shoulders width apart. Place your hands in the small of your back for support. Slowly lean backward increasing the arch of your lower back until you feel a mild stretch in the abdominal muscles and slight pressure in the lower back.


Bridge Stretch – Stand up and reach your arms overhead, interlock your fingers and try to reach your arms away from your body as much as possible.

Repeat each of these stretches throughout the day. Hold for up to 30 seconds.



When you start to move unconsciously in your chair it’s your body’s way of telling you are static for too long. Take this as a sign that you need to move. Keep in mind that a natural reaction to pain is for your muscles to tighten further. Movement is important to help your muscles relax. Ensure that you are moving every 45 minutes to 1 hour.



To learn more about office setup and good ergonomics principles, you can reach out to Fit for Work at to talk about how an ergonomic programme within your office can increase productivity, increase staff satisfaction, improve staff retention and reduce sick leave.

Share this post with your friends

GET the most USEFUL TIPS for organizing the ergonomics of YOUR WORKPLACE and YOUR HEALTH! Enter your e-mail address below