Back Pain at Work in a Chair -23 Tips to Reduce Back pain while Working on the Computer

Most of these tips were submitted by our readers. A few additional ones we’ve found through our own research or from other writers. Give them a shot!


1- Adjust your Chair

Raise your chair – Remember, your monitor should be below eye level and you shouldn’t have to reach up to reach your keyboard.

Pull your chair in – Pulling your chair it helps keep your spine straight by making your keyboard and mouse be closer. This keeps you from hunching over to reach them.

Keep keyboard and mouse near to you so that you do not stretch your hand or bend over to access the keyboard or mouse.

2- Get Proper Lumbar Support

This can be as simple as placing a pillow in the small of your back. Or you can consider a new office chair.

Make sure that your chair has a good lumbar support or one you can manually adjust to the height of the concavity of your back.

3- Exercise

Look for exercises (online or with a physical therapist) that strengthen both your back muscles and your abdominal muscles. A lot of people’s backs hurt because their abdominal muscles are weak.

Try Crunches and Pelvic Tilts:

I used to suffer from terrible back pain when I worked for long periods on the computer. I ended up going to physical therapy where they taught me that exercising can keep my back from causing me problems. I’m not virtually back-pain free, even when I work at my computer for hours each day. These two very simple exercises saved the day. I think everyone should know what a crunch is. A pelvic tilt is just laying on your back, knees raised, and pressing your back to the floor and releasing.

4- Go wireless (or even deskless!)

By using a wireless keyboard, you can sit in a more comfortable and not have to lean forward as much to type!

If you have the option, working on a laptop allows you even more freedom. You can work at a desk, work laying down or even standing up. Some folks have gone as far as to create “walking desks”, which are essentially treadmills with a place for a laptop.

5- Adjust your display settings

Computer monitor resolution should be correct so that everything is clear from a safe distance so that you should not bend over to view the screen.

Computer font setting (large font) should be accurate (according to your line of sight) so that you can read contents from a safe distance without bending over.

6- Rest your feet on a stool

Get a 4-6 inch footstool to place your feet on. Putting your feet up in front of you will help you keep sitting straight in your chair without slouching. I know this because I go to a chiropractor for my back & neck problems. Using above tip will keep you comfortable for hours.

7- See if your Employer offers Ergonomic Evaluations

If your back pain is related or even might be related, to your job, there is a worker’s injury risk for your employer. Thus you can request an ergonomic evaluation of your workstation and rearrangement, where practical so that your workspace dimensions meet your physical dimensions. And if your company does not have ergonomic assessors on staff, recommend that they do. The potential workers’ compensation savings alone would be worth the cost.

8- Try to sit at a 135 Degree Angle

A 135-degree body-thigh sitting posture was demonstrated to be the best biomechanical sitting position, as opposed to a 90-degree posture, which most people consider normal,” says researcher Waseem Amir Bashir, MBChB, clinical fellow in the department of radiology and diagnostic imaging at the University of Alberta Hospital, Canada, in a news release. “Sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential since the strain put on the spine and its associated ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness.

9- Move Around!

Get a mobile wireless headset. During phone calls and online meetings, you can get up and stretch or walk while talking. Get a break from the computer screen and typing while still contributing to work.

Use bathroom breaks as a chance to move and stretch, and instead of emailing your co-worker in the next cubicle, walk over to deliver the message.

10- Switch to an LCD Monitor

Use LCD monitors to avoid reflection. Most of the time reflection on CRT monitor will not allow you to view the screen from a safe distance and you need to bend over to read or view monitor and this can be a reason for back pain. This can be avoided by using LCD monitors.

11- Do Extensive Reading Away from the Computer

“Try to avoid reading the document on the computer. If possible take a (print out) hard copy of the documents so that you can read documents in your comfort position. This will also reduce eye strain.

For a more tree-friendly approach, you can also check out Amazon’s Kindle or the spiffy Readius.

12- Stretch

Stretch forward touching the floor every half hour or so. Do several stretches at a time. While sitting in your chair lean forward until your chest is on your lap and let your hands reach down to the floor. Do this for 20 seconds. Do two or three of them. I have been diagnosed with hemangiomas on my spine and also recessed spinal stenosis of the lower spine and a pinched nerve. This tip was from my physical therapist. It does seem to help.

Some time stretch your self-right side and left side while sitting on the chair only. This will give your back muscles some kind of a stretch.

13- Use the Speakerphone

Many times, people are bent over the desk to grab the phone but want or need to keep working while they are talking. By using the speakerphone, you can sit correctly behind the computer and still talk to your caller.

14- Take Regular Breaks


15- Use Arnica Gel

Put arnica gel on the lower back. The use of arnica gel will cool down any pain which may result from inflammation in the lower back.

I’m not entirely sure what Arnica Gel is but it seems to have gotten good reviews on Amazon.

16- Learn!

Awareness Cuts Repetitive Strain Injury.

A new study shows most computer users are unaware of the muscle tension and changes in breathing caused by intensive computer work, but they can be trained to recognize these warning signs and take steps to reduce their risk.

17- Visit a Chiropractor

The chiropractor will give adjustments to relieve the pressure in the lower back by putting the spine into alignment.

18- Yoga

Learn Yoga exercises for back pain and practice them daily. There are many Yoga excises which are great for the strain caused by continually sitting on a computer chair.

19- Consider an Ergonomic Office Chair

“According to the folks who do studies on ergonomics, a computer chair should be height-adjustable, forward/backward tilt-adjustable, have proper lumbar support, have a correctly proportioned seat pan (when your back is against the rest, the seat should end 2-4 inches before it touches your knees), and of course be comfortable!”

20- Pay Attention to your Posture

When you notice your shoulders hunch forward, take a deep breath and roll your shoulders back and down. The first few times you try this, watch yourself in a mirror. You shouldn’t look like a soldier at attention, but you should look taller and more confident. Also, whenever possible, elevate the items that you will be focusing on to a higher level so you no longer have to lean forward.

21- Stay Hydrated

“Drink plenty of water. Keeping well-hydrated will help your body to detoxify from the unhealthy re-circulated air, lubricate your joints, help prevent the discs in your back from compressing too much leaving you much less protected against injury at the end of the day, and help avoid fatigue and headaches.

22- Acupuncture

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can relieve pain, improve digestion, settle the mind, and boost energy. The National Institute of Health (NIH), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Arthritis Foundation all agree that acupuncture is effective in relieving pain and helping to heal the injury.

23- Get a Massage

In a recent study of people with low back pain, massage appeared to confer benefits to both body and mind. People in the study who underwent massage therapy not only experienced less back pain, but they also experienced less depression and anxiety and enjoyed better sleep quality compared to people using non-massage forms of relaxation therapy.

See: How To Do Spinal Adjustment At Home

Back Pain at Work in a Chair -23 Tips to Reduce Back pain while Working on the Computer, Last Updated: 31/1/2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.