How To Reduce The Risk Of Back Pain At Work
3 Ways to Protect Your Spine in the Workplace
An employee experiencing back pain in the workplace is extremely common; however it can be tremendously painful causing to an awful lot of sick days to be taken due to discomfort. According to this report, back pain is the second most common causes of long-term absenteeism in the UK, second only to stress – costing companies millions each year in sick days. The question for both employees and employers is to how reduce the risk of back pain at work? This post will take you through some simple steps to follow that will help reduce the stress put on your back throughout your working day.
Make your Workspace Ergonomic
Spending 8 hours+ per day in sitting in the same position, you need ensure that your workspace is setup ergonomically. Firstly, make sure that your mouse is in the right position; ideally this should be situated next to your keyboard preventing you from overreaching or twisting your shoulder or arm when clicking. Make sure that you're sitting within reach of your keyboard/monitor, aiming to sit arm’s length away from the monitor. This avoids added stress being put on your lower back – by overstretching to reach your keyboard/monitor. Lastly, avoid crossing your legs whilst seated at all costs! Sitting crossed legged makes it difficult to keep your spine straight, leading to potential back problems, so stay uncrossed!
Get Up and Move
One of the main causes of back pain within the workplace is lack of use of the back muscle leading to discomfort. You can make your desk, your seat and your computer as ergonomically correct as possible, however this will count for nothing if you are not active throughout the day. A top tip is not to use your lunch break to stay seated clicking away on your mouse – get out and active! Participate in some lunchtime exercise by simply going for a stroll for 20 minutes or so. Supplement this by getting up to get a drink, going to the toilet or visiting the printer regularly throughout the day. If none of this is possible try to walk around the office at least once every 30 minutes.
Select the Right Chair
This is absolutely crucial; invest in a quality office chair, as that’s what it is – an investment! Choose an office chair that offers lumbar support, offering a natural forward curve. However, if you're not quite ready to make the investment, a cheaper DIY alternative is to add a rolled up towel behind your back to achieve a similar result.
An ideal office chair should have adjustable height settings and the back rest must be adjustable in height and tilt. This allows you to keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90 degree angles. Again, a DIY alterative to this is to rest your feet on a prop, such as a textbook, in order to achieve a comparable result. If your office chair has arm rests, lower them so that your arms fall into the same 90 degree angle- encouraging improved shoulder posture which will make your lower back happy!
Following these basic tips should help lower the stress that’s put on your lower back throughout the day therefore keeping you out of the doctor’s waiting room!
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=945312
This article was written by Lauren Rock, on behalf of Office Chairs UK, the United Kingdom's leading office chair suppliers.
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