Many people that suffer from back problems develop these health issues as a result of bad habits at work. Here are just a few ways in which you can look after your back while at work.
Wear the right footwear
If you’re on your feet a lot at work, it could be important to wear comfortable footwear. Shoes such as heels can put pressure on the ankles, knees, hips and lower back. If you’re wearing these shoes on a daily basis, you could end up with a myriad of health problems later on in life. You’re much better off wearing flats.
Take a stand
Sitting down all day could also lead to back problems. A sedentary lifestyle increases your chances of gaining weight. You’re particularly likely to gain weight around the stomach. Carrying all this extra weight around the front can then put pressure on the spine and cause back problems. Make sure that you’re getting some physical activity into your day, whether it’s before you go to work or on your lunch break. Try to break bad habits such as eating at your desk – use this break as a chance to walk off some calories.
The way in which you sit can also have an effect on your back. Craning over a desk increases your chance of developing lower back pain. Try to sit up straight while you work – to discourage yourself from leaning forward, make sure that your monitor is at eye height. This may involve adjusting your monitor, adjusting the height of your desk or adjusting the height of your chair. As The Human Solution suggests, an ergonomic office chair can also make a difference.
Lift from your legs
Lifting heavy objects incorrectly is a common cause of back injuries. It’s important to have the correct form when lifting to minimise injury – this includes bending at the legs and not bending at the waist. Most employers should integrate this into their training and injury as a result of overexertion can often be a reason to sue. In fact, Rosenfeld Law claims that overexertion and bodily reaction are one of the most common causes of workers compensation lawsuits. If you regularly lift heavy loads and haven’t been trained to start lifting from the legs, it could be time to start doing it – and to warn your employer.
Don’t wear a bag on one shoulder
If you take a bag to work and carry it over one shoulder, you may want to start alternating shoulders. This could especially be the case if you carry heavy items in your bag such as a laptop or bulky equipment. Wearing a bag solely on one shoulder can throw your body off balance. This can eventually put pressure on the spine and may lead to back problems. By switching shoulders every day, you can make sure that both shoulders are getting a workout and that you’re not disrupting the symmetry of your body (which could lead to spinal problems). Another option could be to switch to a rucksack – such bags evenly distribute the weight over both shoulders and are better for your back.