Admit it. Work can be a major pain. From budget cuts and deadlines, to co-workers with abrasive dispositions, the stress of the full-time office job can drain the enthusiasm out of even the most optimistic individual. Now, recent research has lent proof to what a lot of us have been suspecting - work can also be a literal and physical pain. Back pain is common in the workplace and still, few employees and companies know how to effectively combat it.
The hard truth is that office life is intensifying physical damage to our bodies and we need to drastically change our work culture in order to make it out alive and in tact.
Although this probably sounds dramatic, both the normal office experience and solid statistics attest to the fact that back pain is all too common in the office and it has the potential to lead to far greater consequences.
How Office Life Is Damaging Our Backs?
Humans are not made to be sedentary and yet, given the marked increase in technology and its use, most of us feel obligated to spend large parts of our days sitting in a single place. This low-energy lifestyle can lead to back pain, stiffness and an array of uncomfortable issues.
While many companies promise to provide ergonomic work environments, most workers maintain poor posture. This places excess strain on the back and can cause major and even permanent damage to the ligaments in the low-back.
Prolonged sitting also contributes to obesity which compounds back problems and back pain. The joints and muscles cannot stand up to the stress of extra weight and as we age, we continue to force our bodies to work harder. Keep reading to find an effective solution.
If you happen to be physically active already, there are a number of causes for back pain in the office, such as repetitive motions and impact-related stress.
Putting The Downward Spiral To A Stop!
If you are not one of the fortunate people who work for companies that prioritize back health, there are still a few things that you can do to protect your back.
- Keeping yourself active is an effective strategy for preventing and relieving back pain. Try walking or jogging during lunch. Hit the gym after work to beat early-evening fatigue.
- Talk to your employer about small changes that can prevent or alleviate back pain. Ask for an ergonomic chair or an adjusted schedule that allows for more physical movement.
- Stay active when experiencing moderate pain. This will give you the opportunity to refine your work habits.
- Call a doctor when your discomfort becomes unbearable. This could be a sign of a serious issue.
Employers Can Save Lives!
If you are an employer and want to bolster and improve employee health, here are a few things you can do:
- Encourage workers to report problems as soon as possible. This will limit serious injuries.
- Maintain a low-risk work environment by including standing desks or affordable exercise classes.
- Use risk assessment to identify necessary improvements.
- Schedule employees appropriately during high-demand seasons so that they are not getting overworked.
- Give employees training on proper lifting techniques or other strategies that are applicable to your industry.
- Keep the workplace free of tripping hazards.
Always take steps to protect your back and your overall health, irrespective of your role in the workforce. Although we might be expected to silently suffer through common aches and pains, it is important to note that back pain can quickly become a major health issue and a commercial liability that no one is eager to face.