Market-leading workplace health, wellbeing and ergonomics company Posturite is sharing expert advice on how to decrease the risk of back pain and how best to protect the back at work.
Research by the Institute for Employment Studies found that over 50% of individuals reported an increase in aches and pains when working from home, with 55% of individuals experiencing regular back pain. There are multiple possible reasons for back pain while working, including poor posture, stress causing tension in the body, and sitting in one position for too long.
Humans are not built to be sedentary, yet with so many jobs involving desk-based work, many people are and so it is vital for good ergonomics to be introduced to prevent serious discomfort and problems. A common misconception is that heavy lifting is the main cause of back pain, however often it is poor posture and lack of movement that makes individuals vulnerable to injury.
Not moving enough is a common reason for back pain in homeworkers. Desk stretches are an easy and effective way of helping prevent and reducing back pain and doing these throughout the day helps to stretch out the back to keep it healthy and mobile. Posturite also recommend having regular intervals away from the desk; small movements as simple as walking or going to make a cup of tea and a healthy snack, can help to feel more energised and help to prevent back ache.
Unsuitable and poorly positioned office equipment can also cause back pain. Most soft furnishings don’t give the body enough support for many working activities, while poorly positioned equipment such as laptops can cause the head to hang forward and create strain.
Ergonomic chairs come with a range of adjustments to help individuals find the perfect sitting position. It’s important to set the office chair height so that the hips are slightly higher than the knees, keeping feet in contact with the floor, back against the backrest and elbows about desk height.
Setting a chair height too high or too low can also cause backache but adjusting the chair and using a height-adjustable desk can help prevent this. Using an adjustable laptop stand and separate keyboard can also help, enabling the top of the screen to be positioned at eye level, avoiding hunching over.
Katharine Metters, Lead Consultant in Ergonomics at Posturite, said: “It’s obvious but your back and spine are central to your body and not only provide support and stability for your limbs and head, but is also central to everything that you do. It is important to position yourself and support your back well so it can do its job effectively. Having back pain can affect all aspects of your life, so reducing this risk is vital to your health and happiness.”
For those who are unsure of how best to position a work from home setup, Posturite offer Display Screen Equipment assessments, both in-person and remotely, to ensure the best possible home workstation setup for helping to prevent back pain and improving overall health and productivity.
Posturite’s range of ergonomic office furniture and equipment, including office chairs, desk accessories and sit-stand desks, is designed to help individuals work comfortably and reduce their risk of back pain and other musculoskeletal issues. Posturite has 20% off almost everything in their shop during Back Care Awareness Week 2022, starting on 3 October 2022, with the code ‘BACKCARE’.