Ergonomics has become a major safety concern in this world of working in offices. Repetitive motion injuries and injuries caused by poor posture and poor techniques causes problems for companies. These injuries reduce productivity and raise costs. This guest post from SocialMonsters.com talks about an aspect of this big problem.
Back pain has many different sources and levels of severity, from injury, to overexertion in sports, to sitting for long periods of time. South Carolina Chiropractor Donald Kimble calls back pain an epidemic, that costs employees and employers quite a pretty penny. The work we do every day can often cause soreness, stiffness and pain in the lower back. The Mayo Clinic reports that routine office work and sitting at a desk can lead to back pain. Procedures including lumbar fusion, lumbar laminectomy, cervical fusion and cervical laminectomy are back surgeries commonly performed to address back pain, but they are not guaranteed to end back problems.
Exercise is the one of the best protections against back pain from sitting at a desk and computer all day. The Mayo Clinic reports that repetition and posture put seated workers at risk of muscle fatigue and injury, especially in the lower back, neck and shoulders. For those who have to sit for most of their work day, and especially those who experience lower back pain on a regular basis, information about prevention and treatment options is important. Sources like the Mayo Clinic and Laser Spine Institute have information and resources on back health and possible treatments when pain and injury interfere with daily activity.
Jobs That Involve Sitting
Besides sitting at a desk doing data entry, word processing and other types of computer work, other jobs with long periods of sitting that can cause back pain include police officer and truck driver positions. These careers may often require sitting for longer than a normal eight-hour work day. Police may be on undercover operations or emergency situations where they can’t get up and leave, and truck drivers may drive 10-12 hours straight to meet contracts.
Tips for Back Health When Sitting All Day
Bloomberg School Department of Environmental Health Sciences professor Barbara A. Curbow, PhD, advises people who sit all day for work to get up and walk around periodically, especially during very high volume times or when feeling tense. She says people who work when seated and stressed tend to lose track of time, tense up lower body muscles and sit in one position for too long. Curbow also advises those who supervise seated workers to make them aware of, and encourage, healthy back behaviors in the office.
If you can’t get up and walk around, the next best thing is stretching in your chair. Simple stretches include clasping your hands behind you, leaning your head back and stretching your shoulders back while exhaling slowly.
How To Stay Fit
Physical activity, such as regular aerobic activity, is important for those who endure long periods of sitting in one position. Weekly activity for workers with desk and sedentary jobs should include aerobic exercise like swimming or walking, strength training and back and abdominal stretching exercises. Posture is important to reduce and avoid back pain. Don’tt slouch! Keep both feet flat on the floor and use a lower back support such as a rolled towel or lumbar pillow.
The Mayo Clinic reports that sitting at work can be uncomfortable because of poor ergonomics like the wrong chair, improper computer monitor height and cramped equipment. Pay attention to your work environment and make adjustments that make it more comfortable for you. Make it an office initiative.