Many of us have jobs where lower back pain and back injuries are almost expected thanks to heavy lifting and active work. As a result, training is given to ensure accidents don’t happen and to keep the back strong and healthy. Your desk job could be causing you lower back pain too. Lower back pain is a common complaint in the workplace, here’s how to ensure you and your employees don’t suffer….
If you sit at a desk all day and regularly suffer from back pain, the way you are sitting at your desk could be the root cause of the problem. Similarly, sitting for long periods of time could be a cause for concern, no matter how well positioned your chair is. Studies have proven that frequent long bouts of sitting can affect mortality and health experts recommend getting up at least every 30 minutes for a one-two minute break. Try getting up every half an hour and doing some gentle stretches to help your lower back from seizing up.
Work station factors that can also cause back pain include the seating posture, your computer screen position, your chair height, keyboard position, mouse position and desk equipment layout.
Simple fixes include ensuring that your chair supports your lower back properly. This might mean adjusting your current chair, or asking your employer to invest in a new one . Your eyes should be at screen level and you should be able to comfortably place your feet on the floor.
Another common cause of back injury is through lifting or handling heavy items incorrectly. If you regularly have to lift heavy items you should have been given training to ensure you do this correctly. Learning and following the correct method for lifting and handling heavy objects is essential, here are a few tips:
1. Plan your lift before you start
2. Start in a stable position
3. Keep your back straight and the item close to your waist
4. Avoid twisting or leaning sideways, stay as stable as possible
5. Avoid lifting items that are too heavy
6. If you need to move a heavy item push it, never pull
7. Always distribute the weight evenly.
For employers, it is key to ensure staff are trained properly so that they do not suffer injury in the workplace. This shouldn’t only apply to heavy lifting. Also ensure that employees know how to sit at a desk properly to avoid injury, and provide the correct equipment. Contact us to learn more about the ergonomic desk assessments we provide in the workplace. These are a brilliant way for members of staff to help them understand how they are sitting at their desk and how to improve to reduce lower back pain.
In addition, consider offering monthly massage sessions to employees, to ensure that they are able to release tension built up in the back and help them to relax.