Back pain at work
New research, conducted by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), reveals that a third of people in this country have taken at least one day off work because of back pain at work in the past year, and this translates to 12 days off work on average. When questioned, 23% felt back pain at work had a negative impact on their working life.
Can’t take regular breaks
The research identified that about two fifths of workers whose work involves them in sitting for most of the time, don’t feel they are able to take regular breaks. Only 6% said that they are actively encouraged to. This, in spite of the fact that almost half (45%) of people who have experienced back pain at work were aware that sitting for long periods of time was a cause of their neck or back pain and that getting up from your desk was a simple way to avoid the pain.
Employers not proactive
The research also found that only a small number of employers are proactively offering support to employees. Less than 23% of respondents said that thei employer had offered any help or advice on how to avoid back pain at work. Only a fifth had been offered a work station/desk assessment, ergonomic chairs or laptop stands.
The BCA’s top tips for preventing back pain at work:
• Keep moving: If you are required to sit in one position for long periods of time as part of your job, at work or on a long drive for example, try to take breaks to move your joints and muscles at least every 30 minutes
• Get up, stand up!: Try finding times in your day where you can stand, such as conducting phone calls while standing up to help build additional, simple movement into your day
• Set it up right: Setting your workstation up in a comfortable position will help to prevent the onset of back pain throughout the day. Think about the height of your screen, how well your back is supported and the height of your knees so that you are seated in a comfortable position