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  • Writer's pictureIan Thornley

5 simple tips to avoid back pain at work. Does your back give you a harder time than your boss?

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

When you are at work you expect a hard time from your boss from time to time. If you spend much of your day sitting at a computer, frequently it's your own back that gives you a tough time.

Here are 5 simple tips to help keep your back pain free at work.

1) Move frequently in your chair

You will hear lots about good posture and bad posture, and avoiding being hunched over a laptop is definitely a good idea. But what is posture? It is nothing more than the position you put your body in.

And guess what - any posture can lead to aching and stiffness if you hold it for long periods of time. I want you t think about sitting at a computer - your shoulders are likely to move forwards and your back will flex. What does this mean for your muscles? - It means your upper chest muscles are under constant contraction and your upper back muscles are lengthened and stretched. Hold that position for any length of time and those muscles become tired and sore.

So - move! Frequent shoulder rolls, stretching up with your arms and twisting from side to side will all help keep your muscles working in different ways (like they are designed to do!)

2) Consider your workstation setup

Do you have to strain to see the screen? Do you have to perch on the edge of your seat or lean right in because the arms of your chair don't fit under your desk? Can you sit with your feet flat on the floor? Are you constantly looking down at a laptop screen?

If so it's time to take action and get your workplace optimised for you!

You are at work for a long time so you need to be comfortable. Look for your computer screen to be raised to eye level - maybe think about a separate keyboard if you work on a laptop so you can raise the screen. Your chair should move under your desk so you can get close enough that you are not straining to see or working with your arms outstretched. Your feet should be supported - on the floor or foot rest is great. And if you sit comfortably you are more likely to move!

3) Move away from that desk!

Find opportunities to get up and walk around the office.

Need to speak to a colleague? Great - walk over and talk rather than picking up the phone. Suggest a standing meeting rather than sitting round another desk.

Take a short walk in your break.

There are opportunities to keep moving during your working day - you just need to find them!

4) Stay hydrated

Your body is mostly water and becoming dehydrated, even a little, has a significant impact on how you feel and perform - both mentally and physically. So make sure you drink plenty of water during the day.

Why not combine tips 3 and 4? Instead of having a water bottle on your desk why not plan frequent trips to the kitchen or water cooler for a drink - keeping you moving and hydrated!

5) Talk to your employer

If you have pain at work then talk to your employer. They may be able to offer you help to adapt your working environment for you. If there is a specific activity that causes pain, they can help to adapt or alter your activity to help you manage your back pain.

If you are self employed or you are not getting the help you need then come and see us. We may be able to give you ideas based on your specific needs.

So what now? Take action - try some of these tips today

Leave a comment about how you get on or maybe you have a top tip of your own that you can share?

And don't forget that we are here for you if you need a little help getting on the right track. Book online or call for an appointment with us here in Otford.

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