Have a desk job with long sitting hours? Spend most of your days in classes? Here are 9 ways you can not let all the sitting affect your back:

  1. Avoid the sustained head-down position.
    Regardless of whether you are slumping or sitting up tall, doing these eye-hand activities on a flat surface that is too low or with your material too close to the edge will require you to look down at an angle that will pull your head and neck down and forward . 

  2. Reposition yourself 
    In sitting, the first step to getting your head back into a balanced position is to re position  your pelvis. Sitting with your chair positioned sideways to desk provides you with arm support and decreases the forward bending forces on the spine.

  3. Consider using a slant board to save your neck 
    By simply elevating and slanting your writing and reading surface and/or typewriter, you will decrease the bend between the head and neck. By allowing a more “level-headed” position, slant boards can significantly reduce strain to muscular and joint tissues. Try placing your materials on a large three- ring binder; even this slight change in angle is usually enough to make you notice a positive difference. 

  4. If you have been sitting too long already, seek out a tall (chest/shoulder height) file cabinet or counter that allows you to prop yourself up through your arms in order to read or write comfortably for a few minutes while standing.

  5. Consider using foot rests 
    If by sitting back in your office chair you find that your feet don’t touch the floor, you definitely need a foot rest –or, better yet, a chair with an adjustable height. If your feet are dangling, the muscles along the spine get activated, and neck or back pain is a common result. The foot rest should be high enough to support the feet without raising the knees up much higher than the hips. If it’s the right height, you will feel more comfortable right away.

  6. Support your head to relax your neck
    If you prop your head on your hand, the muscles around the neck can let go, and this unloads the joints. This is helpful during sustained reading or writing activities.

  7. Avoid sustained use of computer screens that pull your neck out of alignment 
    If a screen is too low, it will tend to pull your head and trunk down and forward (most common problem). If it is too high, it will tend to pull your head forward and arch it backward at the top. if it is too far to one side, it can cause cramming of the joints and muscles tightness on the side towards which you have turned.
    If you combine any of these problematic positions with a screen that too far away for easy visibility, you increase the probability of head, neck, shoulder and/or low back pain even more.Attempt repositioning your computer screen. First of all, reposition your pelvis and support yourself into a comfortable, relaxed, up-right position. Then position your computer screen so that you do not have to tilt, turn, or move your head out of this alignment. It should be either straight ahead or more than a few degrees off to the side. Try putting it on the side opposite the side on which you usually hold the phone. Make sure the screen is close enough so that you don’t have to stick/drop your head forward to read it.

  8. Avoid “wringing” your neck to hold the phone 
    Holding the phone by scrunching your neck and shoulders together is commonly done to free up your hands. When you do this consistently over a period of time, it commonly aggravates or causes numerous pains problems in the head/ neck and /or shoulders. Attempt any of the following phone alternatives. 
    -Hold the receiver in the hand opposite your writing hand; become aware enough to keep the shoulder and neck on this side relaxed.
    -Use commercially available phone rests that fit onto the handle. These low-cost items help to stabilize the receiver onto your shoulder so that it will stay next to your shoulder so that it will stay next to you ear and mouth without your tightening up to hold it there.
    -In some cases speaker phones or head set may be practical and effective.

  9. Attempt good bending form.
    When bending over your desk top or when reaching into low drawers, take weight through your one of your arms to avoid strain through the low back.Avoid bending and hanging over files, desks. When pulling or replacing files in lower file drawer, avoid bending over at the waist.