How to Fight Lower Back and Shoulder Pains

Translators, just like so many other office workers, sit at their desks for hours, sometimes oblivious to the world around them, lost in their files, CAT tools, research (or, let’s face it, on Facebook). When we’re swamped, we even forget to get up and stretch a little, not to mention have lunch.

Obviously, this routine is very bad for our health and soon we are faced with back and shoulder pains. Here are some common sense ideas to keep great posture and avoid unpleasant effects on our health:

  • Alarm clocksSet a reminder to get up and do some exercise every hour or so.

If you’re not smokers and don’t have a reason to get up/out to enjoy your daily poison, then you should use the functionalities of your many devices (computer, mobile phone or the good old alarm clock) to be reminded you need to take a break. If you take 10 minutes off every hour or so, to get up and move around or exercise, your back and shoulders won’t be slouched anymore.

  • Take a 30-minute walk every day.

When you’ve finished a large assignment and could use a break, instead of checking your Facebook notifications for the umpteenth time, put your coat and shoes on and go out for a walk. You might be surprised to discover there’s a whole world outside your home (if you work from home) or that the sun is shining, or a new store has just opened down your street, or that you could actually use that time to buy groceries.

  • PilatesWork out!

You can go to the gym a few times a week or work out on your own, at home, while watching a video with instructions on YouTube, for example. You can take up dancing lessons or go running in the morning. You can  climb up and down the stairs to and from the 8th floor and lift the bags of groceries. Well, you get the idea. 😉

  • Try working standing up.

Since I quite like my desk and wound’t want to give it up, I’ve been searching for a standing desk that I could use from time to time, just to alternate sitting down with standing up while I work. There are a couple of models I like, but I’ve still got to find a carpenter to make them for me.

Standing desk whiteStanding desk brown⇐ This is an Ikea model, unfortunately unavailable in my country for the time being. I like it because it’s multifunctional: it could serve as a standing desk, a bookcase, a flower support, a table for mail, keys and all sorts of odds and ends.

⇒ Here’s another one, not as posh, but still highly fit for my purpose. I imagine it’s not very complicated to make or maybe it can just be taken as a starting point/idea for something simpler.

And now (drums, please!), ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the first prize: a great idea for a desk/bar, which can turn our evenings (and not only) into much nicer moments. Here’s the source.

Desk bar

These are all very good ideas, which I need to put into practice myself. Have you got any other recommendations? Things that worked for you?

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