Postures and back pains are big concerns for many illustrators due to the sedentary nature of their work. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the importance of good posture until it’s too late. When it comes to back pains, prevention is the best medicine. Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic radiography college, offers advice below on how to minimize back problems.
Health Concerns with Postures and Back Pains
Research tells us that it is one of the leading causes for absenteeism in the workplace and that it ranks fifth in the list of hospital expenditures in the United States. Back pain is more often than not caused by bad posture rather than a result of an accident or an injury. Many of us are unaware of the dangers of slouching or sitting without adequate and correct support for our spines. In fact, the very act of being seated is a strain on our backs. And with most us leading sedentary lifestyles combined with working at jobs that require us to be seated for the better part of the day, is it any wonder that we’re prone to back aches that could easily turn out to be debilitating if we’re not careful.
When you don’t pay attention to your posture when you stand and when you don’t accord importance to providing adequate support for your back when you sit, you’re putting added strain on your muscles along the spinal cord. If this becomes a regular habit, you’re likely to suffer from various medical complications like constricted blood vessels and nerves and affected muscles, discs and joints. While some back pains are not too unbearable, if your discs are affected, it could end up necessitating major surgery.
If you want to minimize the chances of a bad back, here’s what you need to do:
- Maintain the right posture, when sitting, standing or lying down.
- You don’t have to stand at attention; it’s enough if you follow the natural S curve of your spine with your chin parallel to the ground.
- If you’re standing for a long time, shift your weight around from one foot to the other. If possible, rest one foot on a small elevation like a stool for a while.
- Don’t bend over a desk or table to read or look at something that’s on the surface. Instead, bring the material level with your eye. If it’s something you cannot move, sit down and take a look at it.
- Get an ergonomic chair that supports your back.
- Use a chair that has armrests and a straight back.
- Rest your feet completely on the floor when seated, with your knees slightly above the level of your thighs.
- Don’t sit in the same position for periods longer than 20 or 30 minutes. Get up, take a small walk, and then return to your desk.
- Remove bulky objects from your back pockets before you sit down.
- If you’re lying down, it’s best to curl up on your side with a pillow between your knees. If you’re lying on your back, use a pillow under your knees, and if on your stomach, use a small pillow under your abdomen.
- Use a mattress that supports your back, preferably something that’s not too soft.
- When bending to pick up objects, it’s best to bend at the knees rather than at the back. This way, the strain is on your thighs and not on your back.
- Carry heavy objects close to your chest.
- If you’re carrying a heavy object in one hand, switch hands often.
- Adjust your car seat so that you’re comfortable reaching the wheel, the accelerator, the clutch and the brakes without having to stretch.
- Don’t wear footwear with high heels
- Don’t cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder when making and receiving calls
- Don’t hold your head too high or look down all the time.
- Don’t slouch in your chair or slide forward.
This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford. She invites you to your questions, comments, and freelancing job inquiries at her e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.