25 Feb Look after your back at work
The British Chiropractic Association released new consumer research last month revealing that a third (33%) of Brits have taken at least one day off work due to back or neck pain in the past year, resulting in 12 days off work on average. A further fifth (23%) feel it has a negative impact on their working life.
The BCA also found two fifths of workers (40%) who spend the majority of their time at work sitting don’t feel like they are able to take regular breaks, with only 6% reporting they are actively encouraged to.
Challenging a workplace culture where having regular breaks is perhaps frowned upon (along with actually taking your lunch break and leaving on time…) can seem daunting and perhaps unachievable. UK chiropractors are urging employers to do more to protect employees’ back health and encourage their employees to take regular breaks, but as Catherine Quinn, chiropractor and BCA President commented:
“Whilst it’s encouraging to hear that some companies are offering advice and information to employees to prevent work-related back and neck pain, there is clearly a long way to go.’’
So, in the meantime here are some ideas of how you can look after your back at work even if employee back care is not yet a top priority for your bosses (and fingers crossed it soon will be!):
- When you first get in always check your workstation and chair before you start work. Somebody could easily have changed your chair settings or monitor height so it’s worth getting in the habit of doing a quick check every morning to ensure they’re set up the correct way for you.
- Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. Why not print out the BCA’s PC posture advice so that you can check through it whenever you’re resetting your workstation?
- Try and get up from your desk at least every 30 minutes to get your muscles and joints moving. If you feel conscious just getting up for a little office stroll perhaps downsize your water glass, giving you the perfect excuse to get up for regular refills…and probably toilet trips!
- If you find it hard to remember to move that much set a personal reminder – you can easily do this from Outlook. A small message will appear on your screen as a signal for you to get up.
- If at all possible, try and get out for a walk during your lunch break. Even if you give the impression you’re off to buy something to eat (when perhaps you already have your lunch) – any excuse to get away from your desk is worth it.
If you or your business would like us to come and speak to your office about back and posture care, or to explore providing in-house chiropractic care please do get in touch.