According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries account for almost 20% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace, with only the common cold taking up more sick days. As an individual gets older, they are more likely to experience back pain. That being said, it is critical to be aware of what may cause this discomfort and take steps to prevent it.
Common causes of back pain include:
- Slouching in your chair or having poor posture
- Experiencing frequent fatigue
- Working in a cramped or disorganized area
- Engaging in excessive twisting or reaching
- Using chairs with a lack of lumbar support
- Exercising too much or too little
You can take several different steps to alleviate the risk of sustaining back pain in the workplace. Some precautions that may pertain to your work area include:
- Position everything within arm’s reach.
- Adjust any computer monitors to be at eye level.
- Make sure your monitor brightness isn’t too dim.
- Adjust the font size on your devices to avoid having to lean forward.
- Select a chair with adequate height, comfort and support.
Having good posture is also critical to avoid back pain. Some tips for improving your posture in the workplace include:
- Keep your head and shoulders aligned.
- Position your back against your chair’s backrest.
- Ensure your feet remain flat on the ground and keep your knees at a 90-degree angle while sitting.
- Bend at your knees rather than your back when lifting items.
- Use hands-free devices, such as a headset or speaker.
If you have further questions regarding back pain in the workplace and steps you can take to prevent it, consult your supervisor.
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