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Step 10: Change your work habits
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The ways that you move, stand, and sit affect your back.


  • Maintaining good posture is very important. This means keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in a straight line. You should use your eyes to look straight ahead, which will keep the head and neck in the right position. The stomach should be relaxed. This is important when you are sitting as well.
  • Don't stand for long periods of time. If you must for your work, try using a low stool. Alternate resting each foot on it.


If your work requires you to walk a lot:

  • Wear shoes without heels.
  • Use a cushioned sole.


Look for the following in your work chair:

  • Straight back for proper alignment.
  • Adjustable seat and back. People are different shapes and sizes. Being able to adjust the length of your chair, as well as the location relative to your computer monitor, can make a big difference.
  • One that swivels so that you don't have to twist from your waist
  • Armrests to take a load off your back.


  • While sitting, try to place your knees higher than your hip. Use a stool under your feet.
  • A small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back while sitting or driving for long periods can relieve pressure.


  • Move your seat as far forward as possible. This keeps you from bending forward.
  • Don't recline the seat any more than a 30-degree angle.
  • Stop and walk around every hour.
  • Try not to lift heavy objects just after your ride.


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Review Date: 6/29/2011
Reviewed By: Andrew W. Piasecki, MD, Camden Bone and Joint, LLC, Orthopaedic Surgery/Sports Medicine, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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