Prevent Upper Back Pain In the Office

Physical Therapy

Home » Physical Therapy » Prevent Upper Back Pain In the Office


In today’s modern world, many of us spend a significant portion of our lives working in an office environment, often sitting at a desk for long hours. Unfortunately, this sedentary lifestyle can lead to various health issues, one of which is upper back pain. Preventing upper back pain is essential for maintaining overall well-being and productivity in the workplace. In this blog, we’ll explore ten tips to help you prevent upper back pain while working in the office.

Have a flexible posture

Change your posture frequently throughout the work day to allow you to change the load distribution through your body. You can do this by weight shifting when sitting, standing while working or taking a break by standing or walking.

Ergonomic Set up In the Office

Ensure that your workspace is set up ergonomically. Invest in an adjustable chair, a desk with the right height, and a monitor at eye level to promote a natural, comfortable sitting position.

Take Regular Breaks

Sitting for extended periods can put a lot of stress on your upper back. Set a timer to remind you to stand up, stretch, and walk around for a few minutes every hour. These breaks will help alleviate muscle tension and reduce the risk of developing upper back pain.

Mobility At Your Desk

Incorporate upper back mobility throughout the work day. Simple stretches like the seated cat-cow stretch, seated twists, and shoulder blade squeezes can help improve flexibility and relieve tension in your mid-back. Check out my recent post (find the ball to rollout here, or my Youtube Channel for more videos.

Properly Adjust Your Chair

Make sure your office chair is adjusted to support your lower back. Lumbar support is helpful for preventing upper back pain. Adjust the chair’s height, backrest, and armrests to fit your body and maintain proper alignment.

Stay Active Outside of the Office

Regular physical activity is crucial for overall health and can help prevent upper back pain. Incorporate a balanced exercise routine into your life, focusing on strengthening exercises and posture improvement. Need guidance, check out my remote programming for desk workers.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and stiffness, which can contribute to upper back pain. Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep your muscles and joints functioning optimally (Guidelines here). If you struggle to drink enough water, consider supplementing with electrolytes. Find my favorites here.

Seek Professional Help

If you experience persistent upper back pain, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A physical therapist can provide guidance and exercises to alleviate discomfort and prevent future issues. Check out my services here.

Prevent Upper Back Pain In the Office

Preventing upper back pain in the office is essential for maintaining your overall health and productivity. By using flexible postures, investing in an ergonomic workspace, taking regular breaks, and incorporating mobility and exercise into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the risk and intensity of upper back pain. Additionally, seeking professional help when needed will contribute to a pain-free work environment. Remember, your health and comfort are paramount, so take the necessary steps to ensure your mid-back remains pain-free while you work.

Free Ergonomic Ebook

Learn how to set up your desk at home or in the office, with links to my favorite products with several options for budgets, or use what you already have!

More from my blogs

Physical Therapy

Strength Training