No matter how fit and healthy we keep ourselves, the sad truth is that the majority of office workers will experience some form of back pain at some point in their career. For some it will be a serious issue requiring medical treatment, but in most cases there are a few things you can do to ease the pressure.
When you are experiencing pain it is natural to want to keep still so as not to exacerbate the symptoms. When it comes to muscular pain however, it is vital to keep moving. Unused muscles stiffen up, which is often the cause of the pain in the first place. Maintaining a gentle series of movements throughout the day will ease the pain, even if it seems to hurt more at first. Keeping muscles immobile for long periods of time actually weakens them, so retiring to your bed at the first sign of pain is the worst possible thing you can do.
If you are finding it difficult to move around because of the pain then take some over the counter painkillers. It is better to take these every four to six hours and keep mobile. If the pain persists for more than five days and you still need to take painkillers you should see your GP, who will most likely prescribe some other painkillers and recommend some exercises for you to do.
Hopefully your employer has already explained to you how to sit in your chair in a way that eases pressure on your back muscles and spine. If this is not the case, now is the time to demand proper training for both yourself and your colleagues. Explain the problem to your superior and make sure they are aware that not training workers how to sit properly results in millions of working days being lost every year through related injuries.
Adjust Your Chair
If you are experiencing back pain, the chances are your workstation is not set up properly. Office chairs are designed to be adjustable so they can be set up to suit the specific needs of each worker. There is plenty of information available on the internet telling you how to set up your workstation in the best possible way for your health.
Take Regular Breaks
It doesn’t matter how much exercise you do outside of work or how well set up your chair is; if you sit in one position for hours on end you put unnecessary pressure on your spine and the muscles in your back, neck and shoulders. You should aim to take a break from sitting of no less than five minutes in every hour. Standing workstations are increasing in popularity as a way of avoiding prolonged sitting in the workplace.