Avoiding back pain while behind the computer

Employees who are required to perform tasks 8 hours a day or more at a desk behind a computer are prone to back pain. In fact, a study conducted by the Cornell University revealed that wrong posture when using a computer at work causes four out of five people to suffer from back pain.

Here are some tips you might want to consider to reduce your risk of back pain while working at a desk:

  • By moving the mouse closer to the keyboard, you avoid straining your arms and your back.
  • Choose an ergonomically-friendly chair and place so that your torso is an arm’s length away from your monitor
  • Be mindful of your posture: your head and neck should align right above your shoulders, feet flat on the floor and relaxed to avoid muscle tension
  • Take occasional breaks. Stretching your back and flexing your muscles may help relieve tension

As an employer, it is your duty to ensure that your employees have the capacity to meet the physical demands their job entails. You can do this by implementing scientific, safe, and legally compliant fit-for-duty testing for candidate and returning workers. We at WorkSTEPS are more than willing to be of help. Call us at (512) 617-4100 to learn more about our services.


  1. Albie Cardew says:

    I like the last tip about taking occasional breaks. On average, the brain can only focus for 45 minutes at a time, so taking small breaks to relax your brain and stretch your back can be helpful. The first tip seems helpful as well. How far away from the screen do you recommend the mouse being?

  2. Anne Summers says:

    The older I get, the more I realize that back pain can be caused by the little things, so I’m always grateful for solutions and helpful tips. I didn’t know, for example, that something as small as moving the mouse closer to the computer could help reduce or prevent my pain. I do already have an ergonomic chair, and that’s made quite a difference, so I’m sure these other tips are worth trying. Thanks for the helpful article.

  3. I think making sure to take little breaks every 15 to 20 minutes has really helped. It can be easy to get into a groove and then realize you have been tense for a couple of hours. Thanks for the rest of your tips. I really like the tips to just move the the mouse closer to the keyboard. It is so easy and yet so helpful.

  4. Daelin says:

    I know that I should be doing all of these things, and yet I just have a hard time remembering to do so. Why is it easier to slouch than to sit away from the screen with good posture? I honestly can’t figure out how to make it work for me, and I’ve never been able to sit comfortably without crossing my legs somehow.

  5. Breck Lewis says:

    I had no idea that employees that worked behind a desk all day are more prone to back pain. There is really not much someone can do about it because they have to me on a computer to get their work done. I currently work at a computer desk and I’m always having to pop my back. Thanks for posting this great article, these are some awesome tips that I will have to try!

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