Work related back pain issues reached epidemic proportions at the end of the 20th century. The trend continues and shows no signs of slowing down; it even became the number one cause of long term sickness in all developed countries. Obviously, the reason behind this is the change of working conditions, that is, long sitting hours the majority of working people spend in their offices.
This is worsened by improper sitting position and bad ergonomics of the office furniture. Can this be improved? Yes and here are ways to stop work related back pain.
Buy a new chair and problem solved
Well, this is not quite the case. Thou it is true that long term sitting is unhealthy in many ways, it is not the office chair that is the main problem; you can have the latest trend in ergonomic chairs available and still have serious back pain issues. The key is in the entire office ergonomics, mainly the posture during usual operations that are performed on a daily basis. The way you sit, the way you keep your head in relation to the computer screen and how all other accessories are positioned play a greater role than the chair you sit in. Here is what ergonomic work place should look like.
The first thing you need to do is adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest firmly on the ground with your knees in level with your hips. Next, your monitor should be directly in front of you at a distance of 50 to 70cm, with its top edge slightly below the height of your eyes. Your wrist needs to rest on the desk effortlessly and all computer peripheral devices used need to be within hands reach. Lastly, sit up straight at all times and rest your wrists regularly from time to time.
Rest and rest area
Getting out of an office chair several times during working hours makes a dramatic change in back pain severity. If the office is ergonomically organized, these small breaks are sufficient to eliminate any back pain issues for a certain number of people. The effect can be improved if the breaks are used to do some exercises. Transforming some of the office space into an exercise area will motivate the people to start doing them. Any simple stretch out exercise helps, as well as sit ups, squats and pushups, in fact anything that improves the blood circulation.
Office furniture plays the fundamental role in creating an ergonomic setting. Ergonomic chair, with adjustable height, a curved back and a head and arm rest coupled with an office desk of proper height which has sufficient work area surface and enough room to put your legs under are the minimal requirement. The same principles apply to reception chairs and desks as well since the working conditions are very similar to office ones.
Change of habits
Given the fact that the majority of working people spend most of their business hours sitting behind a desk, it is of utmost importance that their out of the office habits change. Going to work on foot, riding a bike or using public transportation will make a substantial difference. If increased physical activity continues elsewhere and on regular basis the change will be immensely beneficial and back pain problems strongly reduced.
A single solution very rarely eliminates all work related back pain problems on long term basis. Therefore, applying more than one increases the chances of solving the issues permanently, providing that these changes of work and life routines are permanent as well. It will surely take some time, money and effort but the moment the pain is reduced it will all be worthwhile.