7 tips for preventing back pain at work

The back’s system of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves work together to bear the weight of your body and the loads you carry. The structure of the back provides considerable strength and flexibility, but because the spine is so central to the body’s movements, even small amounts of damage can often cause pain. Back pain can occur anywhere along the spine, but the most common site is the lower back or lumbar region that bears the weight of the upper body as well as any weight you’re carrying. It also twists and bends more than the upper back.

However, the recent studies show that work-related lower back disorders will affect between 60% and 90% of people during their working lives.

A few easy tips from physiotherapist and ergonomics specialist Gary Arenson will help you to adjust your work space to avoid lower back pain, headaches and other common back pain at work.

1. Take adequate work breaks. Our bodies are not designed to sit for long periods of time and therefore our muscles get tired when we do. Make sure you stand up from your desk and walk around at least every half an hour.

2. Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor. If your feet don’t reach the floor, invest in a footrest.

3. Clear all obstacles underneath your desk. Any objects left at your feet result in you sitting in an awkward position. Nothing should be obstructing your feet.

4. Position your computer monitor and keyboard and your documents correctly. The top most line of your monitor display should be approximately at eye level to avoid straining your neck.

Your monitor and keyboard should not be to the side of you, but directly in front. Keep the keyboard in close proximity with your shoulders relaxed and your wrists in line with your forearms.

Our monitor should be as far as possible from you while you can still see the screen clearly (generally 45-65cm).

You should not put your documents and your keyboard because you will be reaching forward for your keyboard , which will bring your shoulders forward that causes a rounded shoulder posture as well as muscle fatigue. Try using a document holder and have the documents at the same height as your monitor.

5. Get a headset. If you spend more than 50% of your day on the phone or need to type while on the phone, acquiring a headset would be wise.

6. Relook the way you use your laptop. The low position of laptop screens and positive angle of the keyboard make for very poor postures. Use a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor or get a laptop stand or docking station. If you’re desperate, try raising the back of the laptop by placing a book/ream of paper underneath, effectively raising the screen and putting the keyboard at a slight upward angle.

7. Change your office chair. Buy a chair that will offer you better lumbar and thoracic support, which will assist in correcting body posture.

Anna – Health32.Com

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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