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June 8, 2020 Amelia Wilcox

How to Relieve Back Pain at Work?

Sitting at an office desk all day is sure to put your body under stress! An achy back, tight hips and poor posture can all be results of the modern work environment. In fact, a recent study showed that the average adult sits for 6.5 hours a day. Sedentary lifestyles are exacerbated by our jobs, which require many employees to be on their computers all day. Those seated hours can take a toll on your back! Reverse the effects and learn how to relieve back pain at work.

6 Ways to Make Your Office Chair Work for you

#1 Office Chair Yoga 

If you have to be at your desk all day, why not use your chair to your advantage? In this quick 5 minute work break, you’ll release tension and stress from your body through 5 minutes of yoga–that you can do without even leaving your office chair!

Movement like this can be extremely powerful to relieve tension in your back muscles. Tight muscles throughout your body, especially in your IT band and hips can contribute to back pain, so taking time to loosen those up with yoga is a great first step to take towards a happier back while at your desk.


#2 Stand Up For Your Health

Standing desks are all the rage right now, and for good reason! Standing at your desk has been shown to reduce back pain! Plus it can lower weight gain,lower risks for heart attacks, improve moods and productivity! With so many positive benefits it’s worth trying out, to relieve back pain at work. A standing desk is any desk that allows you to comfortably stand up while working. The best varieties easily convert to different heights so that you can also take a seat when you need to. While some are quite pricey, there are also simple desk-topper solutions available that work just as well. 

how to relieve back pain at work

#3 Improve Your Posture

A stronger core means better posture, and better posture means more comfort while working at your desk! Relieve back pain at work by strengthening your abdominal muscles and opening up your chest and shoulders. Working with a personal trainer or yoga instructor who is knowledgeable about the specific needs of desk-workers can be a great way to start addressing your posture. 


#4 Ergonomically Adjust Your Desk 

Small adjustments to your workspace can make huge impacts on your overall body health, and help relieve back pain. To create an ergonomic workspace, follow the steps below.

  • Adjust your monitor height to eye level, at an arm’s distance away from you
  • Keyboard placement should allow for your wrists to be straight and near parallel to your elbows
  • Choose a chair with lumbar support
  • Adjust your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor, and your knees are level with your hips
  • Adjust your armrests to a 90 degree angle
  • If you choose a standing desk, use a soft mat on the ground to relieve the pressure on your feet
  • Place your mouse, telephone, and any other frequently used items within close reach


#5 Unconventional “Chairs”

Another great way to answer the question ‘how to alleviate stress at work?’ is with an unconventional chair! The opportunities are endless, from pricey options such as a treadmill desk, or a bike desk to the simple solution of an exercise ball you can sit on throughout the day. Switching the way you work to add extra movement into your day is a great way to keep yourself from being too sedentary, and relieve back pain at work. 

Finding something that works for you is the first step, so try out all our suggestions above, and let us know how you feel! We would be more than happy to support you in your journey towards alleviating stress at work. Reach out to us today to schedule your first stress-busting session. 

movement helps when learning how to relieve back pain at work

#6 Move More

Remember to take movement breaks! Even if you’re seated at your desk while working, taking breaks throughout the day to stretch your muscles, take a walk, and move can help relieve back pain at work. In fact, according to the National Fitness Council, 5 minutes of movement every hour can actually reverse almost all the negative effects of prolonged sitting. 

Learn more: Virtual Yoga in the Workplace

Consider scheduling these breaks in on your calendar if you need a reminder! Another option is to sign up for a movement based class that takes place during your workday. If you have a studio or gym within walking distance of your office, consider signing up. Or, here at Nivati we offer virtual personal training and yoga, both of which will get you moving and releasing any office-chair induced back pain! 

Amelia Wilcox

Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement.

Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.

Recently listed as a Forty Under 40, Fast 50, Inc 5000 Twice awarded National Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Licenses, Certifications & Memberships
Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002
Member of American Massage Therapy Association
Served on Utah Worksite Wellness Council from 2012-2015

Attended Utah College of Massage Therapy
Educated in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah

Massage Magazine (AMTA's publication)