The National Back Pain Association, a charity also known as Back Care, is encouraging people to take part in BackCare Awareness Week from 6 – 12 October.
The organisation says dealing with back problems costs the NHS £1.3 million a day. A Health and Safety Executive report says that in 2011/2012, there were 176,000 incidents of work-related back problems.
The occupations with the highest rate of back disorders are:
- Health professionals
- Skilled trades, in particular construction and building
- Caring [and] leisure and other service occupations
All those professions require frequent lifting and carrying. Thankfully, we don’t need to heft and brace too much in the office, but proper technique is still important.
But what about all the hours you spend sitting at your desk? Here are some top tips on looking after your back when you’re stationary (not stationery).
- Take regular breaks
Go for a walk around the office. Have a bit of a stretch at your desk as well (ignore onlookers). Just because you’re sitting doesn’t mean you should be still. Movement is good for your back and your circulation.
- Support your lower back
Your chair should support all of your back, not just your shoulders. You can try lashing together your own lumbar support out of cardboard boxes and packaging peanuts, or you could get a chair that does the job properly.
- Get flat footed
Your feet should rest flat on the floor. Dangling feet are meant for #hobbits and kids at swimming pools, so get yourself a footrest if need be.
- Look straight ahead
Your monitor should be at eye level, so you’re not looking down or up at it. You could try raising it with books in a game of office #Jenga, but it would be easier (and safer) to get a screen riser.
- Try leaning back
This is a bit controversial, but in recent years there have been rumblings that it’s actually good for people to lean back in their chairs, almost like they’re on sun loungers. Worth a go?
What are you going to do for #BackCareAwarenessWeek? Let us know in the comments.
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