Working in modern offices overall is great, up to date software, two monitors and a vast supply of birthday cakes, however the downside is hunching over your desk which can cause a number of issues and injuries.
What are the causes of back pain?
So what are the main causes of back pain in the 21st century? It’s actually a mixture of things as around 85% of back pain sufferers have no clear cause can be identified.
The biggest causes of back pain are:
- Heavy physical work
- Psychosocial factors
- Driving or sitting for long periods of time
- Slouching in chairs
People who smoke, are pregnant, or are obese are more prone to back pain than others as well, although 90% of sufferers recover after 6 weeks.
What are the costs of back pain?
What are the costs of back pain to companies and the country? A lot more than you would think!
5 million working days were lost due to back pain back in 2003-4 (that’s 1% of the population off work on any one working day)
It is also the number 2 reason that people are off work on long term sickness.
Back pain has also cost the NHS up to 1.6 BILLION, let that number sink in for a second.
What can you do to reduce back pain and problems?
So after digesting all those figures, and information, the next question is what can we do to reduce back pain?
The two main ways to prevent back pain are:
This includes sitting, standing and driving.
When sitting and riving for long periods of time you need to ensure that the small of your back is supported and your feet are flat on the floor (you may want to invest in a foot rest or get your company to purchase one for you).
Also make sure that when using your keyboard that forearms are horizontal and elbows are at right angles.
For driving it is much of the same above, apart from you need to make sure that mirrors are positioned so you do not have to twist into awkward positions to see.
Sounding a bit like your mum, but she has a point.. stand up straight, head forward and legs straight.
How you lift and carry and things
If you lift or carry awkward or heavy objects for a living, you will know the score by now, so just a few things to bear in mind whilst doing so:
- Can you manage the weight?
- If not use a mechanical aid
- Push rather than pull
- Make sure weight is distributed evenly
- Avoid twisting
Keep your head up