Poor posture and bad sitting technique combined with long working days are some of the most common causes of back pain. Intuitively, one might imagine that tradesmen, manual workers and other workers involved in heavy lifting would suffer back pain much more than individuals with desk jobs. This is not the case. It appears far more risky to spend eight hours at a desk with poor posture. It stands to reason then that traditional treatments of lower back pain such as bed rest are being replaced by much more active forms of rehabilitation.
Follow our top three top pieces of advice to avoid back pain while getting your work done:
1. Have your Desk Space Ergonomically assessed
Work spaces are generic. They don’t come tailored to your individual proportions. People sit at their desk spaces for upwards of eight hours during their working day, so it’s pretty important that your work place is set up optimally to minimise your risk of low back pain. Programmers, developers, data entry clerks, or draftsmen who intensively use PCs or laptops are at particular risk of occupational low back pain due to poor posture and should certainly consider having their work space assessed. Often simple advice from a professional, such as moving a printer or raising the height of a monitor or changing the type of mouse you use, is all it takes to resolve your back issue once and for all.
2. Take Frequent Breaks
Walk away from your desk. Ideally every twenty minutes walk away for your computer screen. Anyone can get away with sitting with poor posture for half an hour however sustained or prolonged poor posture over the course of a working day can eventually lead to injury. Limit the time you’re sitting at your desk consecutively by forcing yourself to take breaks from your workplace. Even just two minutes away from the office chair can make a difference. It works. Some companies, realising this, have set their computer systems to auto-save and shut down for a few second break every hour in order to facilitate this.
3. Do some exercise
The typical office employee, who presents for physiotherapy for lower back or neck pain, has either recently stopped walking, swimming or some form of aerobic exercise or else never done any in the first place. The alternative, lets face it, to doing some form of exercise or activity in the evening after work is more sitting. Combined with a full days work, this further sitting in the evenings is detrimental to your back health. If we all took a forty minute walk each evening I’m sure the incidence of lower back pain would drastically reduce.