Back pain and injuries are a common occurrence in the workplace and it is not just on the construction site or in the warehouse where you are vulnerable to injury, as many office workers also suffer from back pain on the job.

An employer’s failure to observe correct health and safety procedures can soon lead to a potential compensation claim.  Claims specialists like ClaimsDirect.co.uk often deal with workers that are injured while carrying out their work regular work duties. It  is important to learn how to prevent an injury to your back through greater awareness.

Common causes

Lifting a heavy object, repetitive movements and even just sitting at your desk for too long without a break, can all take their toll on your back and could potentially lead to an injury or the onset of back pain.

It can be very difficult to focus on your work when you are experiencing a sharp stabbing pain in your back or maybe a dull ache. Whatever the symptoms, there are some common causes of back pain at work that you need to be aware of.

Exerting an excessive amount of force on your back when you try to lift or move a heavy object is a common cause of injury. Repetitive movements are also an issue, so performing the same task with your back can sometimes lead to muscle fatigue or cause you to suffer an injury.

Another way you can suffer from muscle fatigue and potential injury is simply down to posture, so slouching at your desk can exaggerate your back’s natural curves will most likely leave you vulnerable to pain or injury at some point.

It is fair to say that certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can also influence your vulnerability to back pain but as we spend so many hours working, it makes sense to follow some measures to try and avoid suffering from back pain at work.

Strengthen your back

You can make your back less susceptible to injury if you take steps to strengthen your back by including some regular physical activity into your daily routine.

Working at maintaining a healthy body weight will help to minimise the level of stress put on your back and about 150 minutes of aerobic activity will help contribute to keeping in shape as well as strengthening your back.

Aerobic exercise covers anything from swimming to walking and includes exercise routines that are designed to strengthen your back muscles and abdomen. Try to find a combination that suits you and then make it part of your weekly routine so that you can not only feel healthier but strengthen your back at the same time.

Think about your posture

Good posture is so important for your back, so when you are standing aim to keep your weight evenly balanced on your feet and try to think about not slouching.

If you are in an office and seated for a lot of the time, choose a chair where you are able to rest both feet on the floor while keeping your knees level with your hips. More employers these days are thinking about ergonomics and providing chairs that help you with your posture, so ask if your chair doesn’t allow you to adopt a good posture.

One of the most important things to remember about the onset of back pain is to listen to what your body is telling you. Get up and move around if you have spent too long at your desk and think before lifting or moving an object that you think is too heavy to manage comfortably without help.

George Thomas works in a senior capacity in public health and safety. he likes to share his insights through blogging. His articles mainly appear on work, safety and health related websites.