Back pain caused by office work is all too common, and often preventable. The Global Burden of Disease reported that pain in the lower back and neck is the most common cause of ill health (in all age groups) in England. The best ways to avoid it involve investing in ergonomic products and maintaining good posture when you work, relax or sleep. Even the simple purchase of a CPU holder for your computer can make a big difference.
This article will explain the issues created by constantly straining muscles in your back, explaining how CPU holders can help prevent back pain.
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Read the link between a sedentary office job and back pain.
Find out what a CPU holder is used for and why it is an important addition to a workspace.
Find out how a CPU holder can help prevent back pain caused by straining and other mistakes.
Our guide to the additional ways you can prevent back pain while working, including recommended products for preventing back pain.
Read our tips on preventing back pain while working from home and creating an ergonomic environment.
We answer frequently asked questions on preventing and treating back pain.
How does an office job cause back pain?
You might be excused for thinking you can avoid back problems if you have a sedentary job. Long-term musculoskeletal conditions are often associated with sports injuries and other trauma, or lifting and carrying improperly.
However, sitting down can be one of the easiest ways to injure your back muscles and spine. Many people spend hours hunched over their devices, often so engrossed that they sit in twisted or stooped positions with few or no breaks. Then, with cold and stiff muscles, they reach to pick up a cable or put in a plug, or to move to work on a different device. This can jar or even tear back muscles.
Many people who are newly working from home due to COVID-19 are perched on a kitchen seat, or balancing their laptop on the arm of a sofa. This results in a lack of lower back support and armrests that get your shoulder and wrist trajectory correct.
Seated or standing, it is unwise to ignore the findings of studies into workplace ergonomics. Everyone is different, so finding a versatile solution that suits you is imperative. To create an ergonomic set-up that doesn’t encourage straining or slouching, it is vital to consider overlooked details such as proper CPU support.
What is a CPU holder?
Having your computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU) properly supported is important. A CPU holder, or CPU support – usually beneath your desk – enables you to secure your processor and therefore protect the vital electronic circuitry it contains, avoiding bumps, spills and other risks.
A CPU holder also lifts this essential kit to enable its internal cooling system to work more efficiently. Many people shove CPUs on the floor, oblivious to the way they are constantly sucking in dust, hairs and other contaminates.
CPU holders can also prevent injury and contribute to an ergonomic set-up.
How can a CPU holder help to prevent back pain?
Though it may not be an obvious solution to preventing back pain, buying a CPU holder to protect and position your PC under your workstation gives you one less way to pull or cramp the muscles in your back. This includes avoiding strains from frequently reaching for inconveniently placed connections and ports and the danger of tripping over cables.
Instead, with a CPU Holder positioned well near your office task chair – you can relax without the worry of tripping over a cable or reaching for wires and pulling your back muscles. CPU holders provide easy access to power and data sockets, leaving you less at risk of injury.
CPU supports either suspend the CPU under a desk and offer a rotating function or they are on wheel to improve portability. Many CPU holders slide out and swivel too, making it even easier to gain access to all sides of your processor.
CPU holders also reduce the need to lift a heavy CPU to access the rear sockets, which can easily lead to back injuries and even chronic back pain.
Visit our CPU support range to find one that matches your office or home office set-up and keeps you working safely.
Spin CPU support
- Mounting heights – 50mm-275mm x 380mm-580mm – suits a wide range of CPU’s
- Supports CPU weights up to 15kg – subject to desk material
- Comes complete with a slide and rotate mechanism – allowing leg space when in use.
The Spin CPU Support includes a Slide and Rotate mechanism, allowing easy access to the CPU once mounted under the desk.
If the security of the CPU is a concern, the Spin CPU Support can be supplied with a locking mechanism.
Snug CPU support
- Available in 3 colours.
- The Snug CPU Support is slim and simple to install.
- Fits into the standard slide and rotate mechanism (optional) – Ease of access to all required connections.
- ABS fascia cover onto metal structure giving a smart aesthetic look.
- Extender plate available for larger CPU’s.
- Capable of handling a large range of CPU sizes.
- CPU sits on a metal platform and is secured in place with a strap.
Additional ways you can prevent back pain whilst working
Though CPU holders are important, they are not the only way to ensure you’re comfortable and working ergonomically.
If you are sedentary for prolonged periods, an ideal office task chair should be adjustable to angle your feet to the floor and provide lumbar support. Lumbar support is also essential for preventing back pain. Ergonomic task chairs come with built-in lumbar support, in the form of a mesh or foam structure directly moulded into the frame of the chair. If you don’t have an ergonomic task chair with lumbar support, you should consider getting a lumbar support pillow.
An adjustable computer desk can also help, including having your keyboard and arms at the correct angle for long periods of typing. You can also invest in ergonomic keyboards and accessories that support your wrists properly as your work. Monitor or laptop arms (if used with a separate keyboard) can also prevent straining and slouching.
Reach Spring Assisted Monitor Arm
- Awarded Ergonomics Excellence by FIRA
- 10 Year Warranty
- Spring assistance for fingertip movement
- Folds flat into 80mm of space
- Integral cable management
- Quick release VESA (Supports VESA 75mm & 100mm)
- Standard Arm supports monitor weights between 2Kg- 5Kg
- HD version product supports monitor weights between 3Kg- 8Kg
Vision H Ergonomic Workstation
This ergonomic workstation, with the option of integrated power and charging module, has been designed to offer ergonomic support for home workers. The range includes a single monitor support, a dual monitor support and a single monitor and laptop support.
- Available in white
- Optional 3x power and 1x USB Type A&C charger sockets
- Includes cable management clips to secure cables to the arm and pole sections
- Supports monitors and laptops up to 5kgs (2x 5kgs when used with dual monitor support or a single monitor and laptop support)
Active Sit Stand Workstation
- Instantly converts any desk into a sit-stand workstation.
- 700mm x 400mm solid working surface.
- Quick and easy assembly.
- Comes complete with a single and double supports.
- Power assisted height adjustment.
- Single option supports monitor weights up to 7kg and the double option supports monitor weights up to 14kg.
How to prevent back pain when working from home
If you’re working from home with a lack of lower back support, you can improvise by using a pillow, either to improve a normal chair or boost the benefits of an ergonomic task chair. If your table is too high, you can also sit on a pillow, so you are raised higher towards the table. Use a bean bag or some books for leg and foot support to avoid leg discomfort.
If you find your table is too low, try placing your laptop on some books or another stable object, if you can use a separate keyboard. If you’re willing to buy ergonomic products, you can also purchase a monitor or laptop stand.
Our list of products to help home workers is extensive, providing solutions to create a logical home office layout that prevents back and neck issues.
Frequently asked questions: preventing and treating back pain
What is the fastest way to prevent back pain?
Look for likely sources of bad posture, especially working cramped up or sleeping on a poor mattress.
How can you work with back pain?
It is vital to relieve pressure on your lumbar region and avoid worsening the problem. This could mean a sit-stand desk to alternate work positions. It should always include an ergonomic task chair that properly positions your lumbar vertebrae.
Are massage guns good for lower back pain?
Various non-drug products treat back pain, including massage guns, TENS machines and alternative therapies such as acupuncture. Experiment to find the best pain relief for you, though medical advice is always worth having.
What are the pressure points to relieve back pain?
Some people find relief from back pain by applying heat or gentle pressure to the source, such as using acupressure on the joint of the thumb and index finger.
Can a standing desk really help your back pain?
Some people finding standing up to work relieves back pain, as it gives your lumbar region space for inflammation to calm down.
What is the best muscle relaxer for back pain?
There are various analgesic or heat creams you can use on your back, plus both over the counter and prescription muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories. You need to find what works for you. For chronic pain, consult a doctor.
How do you relax your lower back muscles?
If your muscles are stiff, tense and sore, then staying rigid can make matters worse. Use gentle movement, warm baths and heat pads to ease back muscles. It can also help if you lie or sit with a carefully arched back, to relieve pressure on muscles and your vertebrae.
Is it better to sit or stand with lower back pain?
This depends on the type and source of pain and your own preferences!
Is walking good for lower back pain?
Low-impact exercise such as walking is a great way to relieve lower back pain, and especially sciatica. It warms and eases muscles and tones and strengthens them.
What are the long-term effects of using a computer for 8 hours a day?
Using a computer for prolonged periods is not a problem as long as you take sensible precautions such as investing in ergonomic products and giving your eyes and body periods of rest. The alternative is permanent damage, including chronic pain and reduced vision.