The workplace is a prime spot for unintentional back injuries, whether you have a desk job or you lift and carry packages regularly.
The National Safety Council says that back injuries are the most common type of injury in the workplace — and no wonder. From sitting (and slouching) for about eight hours a day to hoisting heavy loads, our jobs are rife with chances to hurt our backs.
Stretching slowly when you start your day (try propping a foot on a chair and bending forward for eight times on each side) can help prevent back pain at work. So can these tips.
Sit Properly, and Move Often
If you have a sedentary job, relax your back muscles regularly by walking around for a few minutes each half hour. Visit a colleague at his or her desk instead of sending an e-mail, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Use an office chair that supports your lower back.
- Keep your head straight — don’t lean forward — when you look at your computer.
- Ease compression on your spine by leaning back slightly when you’re on the phone or chatting with a co-worker.
- Don’t cross your legs. This position can lead to a buildup of pressure in the legs, as well as back pain.
Most of us remember to lift with our legs, not our backs, but first keep your footing solid and your back straight — no slouching or curving.
- Lift once you have a good grip on the object: Center your body over your feet, and pull in your stomach firmly to support your lower back.
- To turn, don't twist your back; move your feet.
- If a load is too big or bulky to handle alone, work with a partner and lift, move and lower the load together, or use a mechanical device.
If you’re experiencing back or neck pain, our Spine Care Center can diagnose the cause and provide proper treatment. To schedule an appointment or talk to one of our skilled specialists, please call us at (727) 869-5586.