Preventing back pain at work

Small Business Insight

1 January 2018

posture-700x394.jpgInvesting in your business can often mean long hours and more time spent sat at your desk, and this can lead to back pain if you’re not sitting properly.

About 30.8* million working days were lost in 2016 due to work-related back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders, so taking time to make small changes to your working environment can be of significant benefit to your health and the health of your business in the long run.

Follow these five simple steps to improve your posture and keep your back in good health:

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Get the right support

Avoid back pain by adjusting your chair so that your lower back is properly supported. Ensure that your knees are level with your hips, using a foot rest if necessary. The basic rule is to plant your feet firmly on the floor to support your back. Don't cross your legs, as this can cut off circulation and cause hip problems.

Adjust your chair

A correctly adjusted chair will support your back in a good posture. Make sure you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. Your elbows should be by the side of your body, so that the arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.

Maintain eye level

If you use a computer screen for work then it should be directly in front of you, with your monitor about an arm’s length away and the top of the screen at eye level so you don’t strain your eyes.

Keep your keyboard close

Your keyboard needs to be immediately in front of you. Your wrists should be straight when using a keyboard, with your elbows vertical under your shoulder and right by your side.

Avoid phone strain

Consider using a headset if you spend a lot of time using the phone for work, as cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can strain the muscles in your neck.

*Office for National Statistics

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