Is your work taking it's toll on your back?

Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic Work Spinal Xray

New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that almost 31 million days of work were lost last year due to back, neck and muscle problems. The Labour Force Survey found that musculoskeletal conditions were responsible for more prolonged absences than any other problem. Tim Hutchful, a chiropractor comments "In a survey* last year, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) found that 35% of those suffering back or neck pain attributed their problem to sitting still for long periods and, unfortunately, the office environment rather encrouages this."The switch from manual labour to office-based jobs might appear to be better for backs, but office-based jobs, coupled with sedentary lifestyles, have a huge impact on people's backs and chiropractors are seeing this in evidence in their waiting rooms." 

Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic Work Spinal Xray

Office workers need to pay attention to how they sit and for how long; Here is some great advice for office workers:

  • - Always take the time to adjust your office chair, particularly if you share your desk with others.

- Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height.

- Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair.

- Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.

- Remove any obstacles  from under your desk to ensure you have enough leg room. - Take regular breaks. Never sit at the computer for more than 40 minutes; less if possible. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little; do something completely different. - If using a laptop, a stand is a good idea (or use a ream of paper or similar). This ensures the screen is at eye level. Using a plug in keyboard and mouse whenever possible makes it much easier to use the laptop in a more ‘back friendly manner’.

Take a look at the BCA's video on computer posture.

* Survey of 2044 people carried out in March 2013