By: Andy Chen
You’ve been gazing at your computer for the past six hours — attending online classes, working on homework, gaming, looking through the internet — when suddenly, it’s time for dinner. You jump out of your seat and grimace; your back is tight as a knot, and your neck is stiff and sore.
Back pain is a common problem, with experts claiming that as many as 80 percent of Americans have faced back pain during their lives. Indeed, lower back pain is the number one cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease.
With that being said, how can students mitigate the chances of getting back pain and effects lingering at their desks for too long?
Back pain is often caused by continuously remaining in a sitting position, as increased stress on the neck, back, and arm muscles can all contribute to extended back pain. Thus, regularly standing up to take breaks can relieve some risk of back pain, especially given the current online schooling environment.
Stretching can also significantly help reduce back pain, as it increases the circulation of blood to your back and may ease strains and aches that result from remaining physically inactive. Quick, easy exercises include jumping jacks, lunges, and side stretches.
Additionally, posture is vital to mitigating back pain. According to Healthline, keeping your back straight protects the sensitive parts of your spine and keeps your back healthy and functional. Bad posture, however, may curve your spine and put stress on your back. By maintaining bad posture, you slowly accumulate damage to your spine and back, so maintaining good posture instead of slouching or rounding your shoulders is necessary.
Back pain is a significant problem for many, so it’s best to preemptively take precautions against it. Back pain is difficult to notice before it becomes serious, so vigilance and discipline must be used to keep it in check. As the saying goes: war, death, and back pain.