Whether you have a highly active job that requires you to do heavy lifting or you work in an office and have to stay seated for prolonged periods, this can have a serious impact on the health of your back. Your back is extremely important as it holds the spine, which is our body’s central support structure, and connects our skeleton together. For this reason, deterioration of the spine can result in many different health issues on the rest of your body.
Back pain can make you less focused on your job and even require you to take time off to recover. You may not necessarily notice these effects until later in life. In this article, we will advise you on how to reduce the risk of developing back pain at work so that you can prevent serious back issues from arising.
Common Causes of Back Pain at Work
As discussed above, many actions on the job may contribute to back pain. Therefore, it is not necessarily the job that matters but its demands. Below are some contributing factors to the development of back pain at work:
In certain jobs, you are not at all allowed to do the heavy lifting, as this goes against health and safety policies in place. However, depending on what you do, lifting heavy objects may be a requirement. Consistently doing this may cause a strain to your back, potentially causing long-term injury. You should receive the appropriate training to make sure that you are doing this correctly and minimize the risk of harm to yourself.
A few movements can pose a risk of injury to your back, those such as twisting or rotating your spine. If you do this constantly, you can get seriously hurt. Therefore, avoid any sudden or harmful movements of your back.
When you are sitting at a desk all day, it can be easy to suffer back injuries if you do not have the appropriate equipment or are sitting in a slouched position. You will definitely feel the impacts of this on your back in the long run.
Back Pain and Lifestyle Factors
As you can imagine, back pain can result from diverse factors, other than from the workplace. Variables such as the individual’s age, weight issues, and lack of exercise can also have an impact on your back. For this reason, you must look after your overall health, as this will benefit you completely in the long run with both your physical and mental health. There are easy steps you can take to achieve this. Starting from having a healthy and balanced diet and increasing your intake of calcium and vitamin D. You should also take up a form of physical activity, as this can improve your mobility, posture and minimize strains on your back from weight gain issues.
Preventing Back Pain at Work
Now that you are aware of some of the causes of back pain and how to improve this through your overall lifestyle, it is time to become aware of some measures you can take to avoid back pain and injuries at work. We discuss this below:
Pay Attention to Posture
Most people get used to a slouched posture, and they do it without even realizing it. This not only happens when you are sitting down, but it can also happen when you are standing too. You can avoid this by practicing and reminding yourself to get back into a good posture when you find yourself slacking. Additionally, if you are sitting down, remember not to have anything in your back pockets, as this can add additional pressure on your lower back.
Get Appropriate Equipment
All the equipment you use at work must be appropriate and safe for you to use without causing additional pressures on your back. Every workplace should take health and safety very seriously, and there are usually policies available detailing this. Some of the basic equipment you can get is a chair with additional padding or features to provide your back with the necessary support. Experts from ChairInstitute.com imply that different chairs should be used for different occasions and needs of the individual. You can also get a standing desk so that you can alternate between sitting down and standing up, which will support your posture.
If lifting is not part of your job, do not do it. If it is, then ensure that you receive the appropriate training to complete this without putting your back at risk of injury and if it is too heavy for you, ask someone to help you.
Listen to Your Body
The most important thing you must do is to listen to your body. Learn to recognize the signs of extra pressure on your back and put preventative measures in place so that you do not get worsened back injuries.
Back pain is a serious issue that can be long-term or permanent if not taken care of. As you spend a big part of your day at work, what you do there has a significant impact on the health of your spine. Make sure that you follow some of the tips discussed above to ensure that you reduce the risk of developing back pain at work.