A productive day can be quite fulfilling but it can all be spoiled if everything ends up with back pain. And who doesn’t suffer from one anyway? Back pain is a common incidence in the workplace (Voakes, 2014). From driving all day for Uber drivers to sitting and working at the office, sitting for a long time can result in back pain.
Working hard in the office is not a bad thing but not compromising one’s health. And yes, the simple act of sitting for a long time can lead to back pain. Some of the factors that can contribute to it are:
- Low-energy Lifestyle
- In Sedentary Positions for a Long Time
- Poor Posture
- Obesity & Unhealthy Diet
- Long-time Repetitive Movements
- Excessive Force upon the Back
Ways to Avoid Work-related Back Pain
With the rise of technology and device, more people are now less active and would opt to be sedentary. This ends up with uncomfortable back pain that you just can’t live for the rest of your life. The good news is that according to Cleveland Clinic Center Spine for Health and Cornell University researchers, you can make a few simple changes to get rid of the pain (Hall, 2014). And here are some of those ways:
- Design Your Workstation Strategically
- Choose a with lumbar support on your lower back
- Make mouse and keyboard reachable in your desk
- Stay Active (As much as you can) by Taking Frequent Breaks
- Mind Your Posture
- Keep your head up o Plant your feet o Sit within reach o Position knees the right angle (90 degrees) o Breathe from your belly o Don’t cross your legs
- Don’t strain and squint
- Never Cradle Phone between Head and Shoulder
- Stand Up & Stretch Shoulders Every Now & Then
- Refine Daily Desk Routine to Be More Engaging
The Role that Proper Posture Plays in Back Pain
Poor posture can lead to back pain and this is a solid ending if you don’t do something about it. Proper posture, whether you sitting in your desk, driving, or standing, is important for managing one’s back pain (Triano, 2006). It is imperative to bear in mind that there are particular harmful situations that could lead to back pain and so must be avoided at all times, including:
- Repetitive & Frequent Awkward Stretching
- Prolonged Sitting & Other Static Postures
- Lifting Wrong: Lift with Knees Not Your Back
Learning the right posture is prevention against back pain and being consistent with this posture is the key. A good posture is accomplished by following these instructions:
Feet Slightly Apart (One foot slightly in front of the other)
Keep Shoulders Directly over Pelvis
Chest Out & Keep Head Directly over Shoulders
Tuck in Buttocks
- Tighten Core Abdominal Muscles
Avoiding Back Pains with Workplace & Office Ergonomics
People spend a lot of time at work and the majority of these office workers end up sitting all day, leading to back pain. According to Henderzahs-Mason (2018), one of the reasons that desk workers experience neck and back pain is because workers try to accommodate to their workstation and end up straining their bodies, compromising their posture. This is why it is important to redesign one’s workspace to promote a healthier posture.
More than just your salary, employers can be helpful if you want to make necessary adjustments for your workstation. Talk to your employer on the adjustments you need, from the placement of your workstations to your back-friendly office chair. The great news is that most employers today are now recognizing the fact that employees spend a lot of time sitting and would need to accommodate changes for a healthier setup.
Hall, S. (2014). “12 Ways to Stop Work-related Back Pain”, Health. Retrieved from https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20355520,00.html?. Viewed on 01 October 2019.
Triano, J. (2006). “Ergonomics of the Office and Workplace: An Overview”, Spine-health. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/ergonomics-office-and-workplace- overview. Viewed on 01 October 2019.
Voakes, G. (2014). “The Painful Truth About Office Back Pain”, Huffpost. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/danger-of-sitting_b_4980482?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003. Viewed on 01 October 2019.
Henderzahs-Mason, J.M. (2018). “Sitting at your desk doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck”, Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sitting- at-your-desk-doesnt-have-to-be-a-pain-in-the-neck/art-20269947. Viewed on 01 October 2019.