Our poor spines take all the abuse — looking down at our phones, sitting at a desk — which is why investing in products that protect our alignment is worthwhile. As someone who suffers from Millennial posture and works at a computer for much of the day, these are some of the top products I’ve tested that I’d recommend for helping counteract the damage.
Humans weren’t designed to be stationary for hours on end, which is why investing in a Treadmill Desk is definitely worth considering. When I started having back problems, working on one a few hours a day cleared things up in a way that not even a standing desk managed (though those are also good — if you can remember not to lean to one side). If you must work sitting, the Edge Desk is one of the most practical options I’ve found; it’s unique position keeps you both alert, flexible, and aligned, and it even collapses so you can store it under your bed.
If you, like me, enjoy working on your laptop in bed sometimes, getting an adjustable and collapsable ergonomic workstation is key to maintaining proper alignment and avoiding the dreaded “tech neck.” Light and collapsible, you can move it around to different surfaces throughout your house and always have your laptop at eye-level.
Also important to protecting your back is engaging and strengthening your abs. The ErgoErgo stool helps you sit up straighter naturally, by engaging your core muscles while letting your spine achieve its natural curve. If you’d like something even more discreet for the office or home, an inflatable Posture Cushion also engages your muscles so you sit upright — and can even double as back support on the floor while you do crunches.
If you really want to break your slouching habit, try a posture trainer like Upright GO. While the little devise’s stickiness isn’t reliable for the long-term (you have to buy replacement adhesives), I found that in the few weeks I attached it to my spine (and was buzzed every time I slouched), I became more aware of my posture in a lasting way. The Posture Brace by Back Pain Help also helps train you in a more old-school way, by pulling back your shoulders. It can be worn under baggier clothes for stealth training all day long — though the straps do rub my underarms sometimes, so I prefer to wear it over a shirt at home.
If you’re a woman who’s still using a heavy purse, it’s also important to remember that this can add to back problems by making you lopsided — liberate yourself! I suggest switching to a stylish vegan leather backpack, an actually-cool fannypack, or a cute, casual canvas backpack to distribute weight more evenly.
A comfy pillow, like this one by Brooklyn Bedding, is also important. The Pancake Pillow is an especially good bet for your spine because it's adjustable — you can customize its height with six included down-alternative inserts. (Though, personally, since I’ve ditched sleeping with a pillow altogether, I’ve found I actually have less pain. Think about it — your spine is straighter the less you prop your neck up.) In that vein, side-sleepers might want to consider a knee pillow, which can also help align your spine in a straighter line at night.
When it comes to muscle relaxation, I also can’t recommend having a large electric heating pad on-hand enough. I used to think they were only for the elderly or debilitating menstrual cramps, but I’ve found that using one regularly on my neck, shoulders, or back at the end of a long day helps any strain, and also has the added bonus of helping put me to sleep (they automatically shut off after a certain time to avoid overheating, so no need to worry). In terms of recovery, having some sort of roller, like the Plexus Wheel, for your back and other muscles is also important. And if you really want to treat sore muscles (and yourself), try some CBD bath salts to relax before bed.
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