BackCare Awareness Week Focus on Office Workers

Office workers are being encouraged to take care of their backs to ease back pain as part of this year’s BackCare Awareness Week which runs between 6 – 10 October

According to a BackCare survey half of us are affected by back pain and 7.6 million working days were lost due to work-related back pain between 2010 and 2011, an NHS study revealed.

BackCare Awareness week, is focusing on office workers who are prone to stress, tension headaches and back pain. While these ailments are common, often they go unrecognised.

But there are many ways to avoid and ease back pain when working. Here are some of my tips: –

1) Be aware of your posture; when standing try to distribute your weight evenly across the front, back and sides of your feet. When seated, sit up straight; align the ears, shoulders and hips in a vertical line as much as possible.

2) Avoid prolonged positions; even a good sitting position can be tiring and put a strain on muscles. Try alternating sitting at the front of the chair with sitting back against it. Try to also get up and move about every 30minutes. Take 2 minutes to stretch, stand or go for a short walk, this will not only stimulate your muscles, but also your mind!

3) Avoid unbalanced posture; such as sitting with your legs crossed, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward or tilting the head up.

4) Position your monitor at your natural resting-eye-height. This will avoid straining the neck as you look up or hunch down to your screen.

5) Exercise regularly; a good combination of cardio and strength training will strengthen muscles and protect against back injuries.

6) Get moving: the body was designed to move, and it is so important to keep moving. Even if you are suffering from back or neck pain, limiting movement will only exacerbate the symptoms. Try to do lots of gentle movement within a relative pain free zone, in order to prevent everything from locking up.