The place where you spend the most time can be your biggest source of back pain. How you position yourself at work can go a long way towards preventing and managing pain. The term most often used for the study of the efficiency and movement of workers is called ergonomics. If you or your company institute a well designed ergonomics program, it can make a significant difference in your health. At Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, we want you to know ways you can live a healthier lifestyle and avoid back pain. So we’d like to share with you what we know about workstation ergonomics. If you have back pain that you think might be related to your job or anything else, we may be able to help.
Types of Work Related Back Injuries
According to the website Spine Health, there are two types of injury that can occur in the office. An accidental injury occurs when something unexpected happens such as a slip and fall accident. A non-accidental injury happens when pain affects you as a result of normal everyday work activities.
Back injuries can occur from physical, demanding jobs, according to Spine Health. For example, if you load trucks for a living, you’re probably more susceptible to back injury than most people. But they can also come from sitting in a chair.
You can even be at risk for back injury by not doing anything. According to Spine Health, the healthy body can only tolerate staying in one position for about 20 minutes, which is why you feel uncomfortable sitting on an airplane. But repetitive movement can also cause issues. Frequent or repetitive stretching can cause back injuries. For example, if you’re repeatedly lifting boxes or other objects from the floor lifting overhead, rotating or twisting, you could develop pain. Handling heavy loads as well as being overtired or fatigued will also increase your risk of injury.
Using Ergonomic Principals on the Job
Ergonomic principles are designed to find the right workplace conditions to match the demands of the job, according to the American Chiropractic Association(ACA) website, Chirohealthy. The idea is to also make the workstation compatible with employees to make them safer and more productive.
Among the suggestions ACA makes are choosing a desk that is the proper height for your body and making sure all items on that desk are easily reached. Your feet should touch the floor with your legs and body forming an angle of 90 to 110 degrees. Your body should be kept straight with the head and neck upright and looking forward. Your eyes should be at the same height as the top of your computer monitor.
While typing, keep your wrists straight, your shoulders perpendicular to the floor, and your forearms parallel to the floor. Try to use a bookstand or paper holder when reading in order to keep your eyes in a neutral position. You should use a headset when talking on the phone, particularly if you talk for long periods.
Finally, you should pace yourself properly. Stand up and stretch your legs every 20 to 30 minutes and stretch your neck, back, arms and legs every so often. If your eyes must concentrate on a particular object for long periods, relax your eye muscles by shifting your focus from objects close to you to objects that are farther away.
Total Chiropractic Can Help You Manage Back Pain
All of these tips can help prevent back pain and other types of chronic pain, but if you feel you need help with pain management Total Chiropractic can help. We can treat you with chiropractic services, and suggest exercises and lifestyle advice. For more information and to set up a consultation, contact Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness today.
Please note that the author of this piece is not a doctor and the information in this material is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.