Did you know that 8.9 million working days were lost in 2016/2017 due to work related musculoskeletal disorders and that 507,000 workers suffer from the disorder? Sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause and aggravate back pain, as it puts pressure on your back muscles and spinal discs. Employers can help their workforce to keep their posture correct and avoid musculoskeletal related absences with these simple tips.
Encourage the correct sitting posture
The correct way to way to sit in a chair is with your feet placed flat on the ground and your legs uncrossed. If you struggle to sit with your feet completely flat on the ground, you can use a footrest to prop your feet up to make you more comfortable or even thick books could work. You should also draw back your shoulder blades to bring your chest up and out, as they will avoid you getting rounded shoulders.
Provide lumbar support pillows
Most employees will spend the majority of their day sat at their desk and some may need a little extra support for their spine. Providing lumbar support pillows for employees can help them to sit in the correct position, manage back pain and ease symptoms of lower back pain. Lumbar support pillows physically prevent you from sitting in a slumped position and stops the prolonged flexion stresses.
Set monitors right
Having your computer screen in the right position is essential to avoid straining your neck. Your screen should be placed directly in front of you and the top of the screen should be at eye level. If the screen level isn’t correct you may need a monitor stand as bending your neck can strain it. You also need to adjust your chair height accordingly to your keyboard and screen. Your elbows should be by the side of your body so your arms form an L-shape at the elbow joint.
Sitting for long periods of time can be a hazard for your body! It is important to stand up and move about every so often. When you are sat down without moving your blood flow becomes slower, abdominal muscles get weaker, bones get thinner and your life expectancy decreases. Encouraging employees to take their lunch breaks and to go out for mini-walks is a great way to promote being active. If staff got up every hour or so to fetch a glass of water, they will be moving about and also drinking more than the recommended amount of water.
For employees that are suffering from back problems, exercise is a good way to relieve the pain. It can strengthen the muscles that support the spine, remove pressure from spinal discs, alleviate stiffness and improve mobility, release endorphins that naturally relieve pain and minimise the frequency of back or neck pain episodes. The best way to deal with back pain is to stay active and exercise on a regular basis!
If you are looking for discounted gym memberships, My Gym Discounts have got you covered! It is a voucher-based or discount code scheme which offers employees the opportunity to benefit from discounted gym memberships at hundreds of gyms, leisure centres, health clubs and class studios across the UK and Ireland. The memberships are set up and paid for in club or online directly by the employee. Discounts are available on a variety of contracts, meaning employees don’t necessarily need to commit to a 12-month agreement!
Invest in posture trainers
If you need a little nudge in improving your posture then you could try a posture trainer. UPRIGHT are biofeedback trainers which sit on your back and vibrates to alert you when you slouch. Getting and using the correct UPRIGHT posture is the foundation for overall health and wellbeing. Training with UPRIGHT’s feedback device can boost confidence, decrease back pain and strengthen your core muscles. If you want to purchase UPRIGHT posture trainers please contact Incorpore for more information on 03453006474.
Back care & posture workshops
Workshops are a fantastic way to learn more about important topics, which can affect your health and wellbeing. Incorpore offer a ‘Back care & posture’ programme, which runs for 60 minutes and four workshops can be delivered in any one day. The workshop will cover basic knowledge of how the back works, understanding back pain and its common triggers, lifestyle factors to consider preventing back problems and poor posture, practical work consideration and general back care at home. If you would like more information on the workshop or would like to book one for your company please contact Incorpore on 03453006474.