Common causes of back pain at work can be one of the following:
- Force. Exerting too much force on your back, such as lifting or moving heavy objects.
- Repetition. Repeating certain movements, especially those that involve twisting or rotation can injure your back.
- Inactivity. An inactive job or a desk job can contribute to back pain, especially if you have poor posture or sit most of the day in a chair with inadequate back support.
- Injury to your back.
Steps to take to avoid or prevent back pain at work are as follows:
(1) Pay attention to posture
- When standing balance your weight evenly on your foot. Don’t slouch.
- To promote good posture when sitting, choose a chair that supports your spinal curves.
- Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Remove your wallet or mobile phone from your back pocket when sitting on the chair to prevent extra pressure on your buttocks or lower back.
- For extra comfort, seat on top of comfortable seat cushion.
(2) Lift properly
- When lifting and carrying a heavy object, lift with your legs and tighten your core muscles. Hold the object close to your body. Don’t twist when lifting. If an object is too heavy to lift safely, ask someone to help you.
(3) Modify repetitive tasks
- If the weight to too heavy for you to lift, use lifting devices, when available, to help lift loads.
- If you work at a computer, make sure that your monitor, keyboard, mouse (if you use a mouse) and chair are positioned properly.
- If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, place your phone on speaker or use a headset.
- Avoid unnecessary bending, twisting and reaching.
- Limit the times you spend carrying heavy briefcases & bags.
(4) Listen to your body
- If you must sit for a prolonged period, change your position often, Periodically walk around and gently stretch your muscles to relieve tension.