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Office workers, beware of back pain risk

We frequently write about the hazards that workers in high-risk industries face on a daily basis. Workers who report daily to work in industries like construction, logging, commercial fishing and commercial trucking understand that they face a higher than average risk of dying on the job and of suffering potentially debilitating injuries as a result of their work. However, workers in high-risk industries are not the only workers who should be concerned about sustaining injuries on the job.

Office workers face a myriad of work-related injury risks, including repetitive stress injuries from typing and neck stiffness from being bent over a keyboard for hours and hours every day. In addition, office workers risk potentially debilitating back injuries and back pain from their sedentary approach to work. Even if individuals are otherwise active, spending many hours each day at a desk can lead to serious back issues.

Sedentary work can cause back muscles to suffer from prolonged tension resulting from the body requiring a very specific kind of support for extended periods of time. Poor posture and inadequate support from desk chairs, etc. can lead to ligament damage in the lower back. Additional sitting during one’s commute, lunch hour and other work-related activities can increase this strain.

If you possibly can, stretch, stand and move around regularly while working in an office position. In addition, purchase or request that your employer purchase you an ergonomic chair. Some attention to your back’s needs now may save you a great deal of pain in the long-run.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The Painful Truth About Office Back Pain,” Greg Voakes, April 15, 2014

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