A lot of employees in America work jobs where they will have to sit at a desk and use a computer for a significant amount of time. While these types of occupations don’t require as much physical exertion as manual labor jobs do, research provides strong evidence that employees in desk job are equally at risk of developing back pain. As noted by Cornell University and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health, about four out of five cases of back pain is reported by individuals who spend an inordinate amount of time sitting down and hunch over a keyboard at work.
The most common culprit for work-related back pain is bad posture. Employees working desk jobs can easily hurt their backs by slouching and hunching over in their desks. The best way from feeling any strain or pain throughout the day is by keeping a good posture where the back is kept straight and where the head and neck aligned with relaxed shoulders. Another factor that comes into play is the position of the computer screen. Sitting too close to the computer monitor can force one to slouch and bend over. To prevent work-related back pain, the chair should ideally be positioned to ensure that an employee is optimally seated an arm’s length from the screen. Re-arranging the keyboard and mouse to suit this arrangement is also a necessary step to avoid getting too strained.
Perhaps the most important tip that can help employees prevent work-related back pain is to take periodic breaks by standing up from the desk and stretching. Following a short exercise routine can do a lot to relieve any muscle strain and tension that is typical from spending too much time sitting down.
Don’t be mistaken that solving work-related back pain is the sole responsibility of employers. In the same way, employers can ensure the health and well-being of their workforce by providing ergonomic and comfortable seats. The website of the pre-employment testing experts at WorkSTEPs offers another suggestion, noting that employers could use functional capacity testing during the pre-employment process, as well as for employees that are returning back to work after recovering from an injury. Such a test will ensure that employees will be able to meet or continue to meet the physical considerations of a specific position.