Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, yet few people are addressing its causes in the workplace. Back injuries that lead to chronic pain often happen in the workplace, and they are almost always completely preventable. Once you have a back injury it can be difficult to fully recover, and that’s why it is so important to learn how to prevent back problems before they start.
How Work Contributes To Back Pain
It is especially true of anyone who does physical labor to earn a paycheck that they are at high risk for physical injuries. Repetitive tasks, such as those performed by workers in manufacturing, can cause strain injuries that worsen over time. Impact injuries, such as those happening to people who are required to lift heavy objects on a regular basis, can cause long-term damage that grows with every new injury.
But it’s just as likely for people who sit at a desk all day to incur injuries. Sitting puts more pressure on your lower back than standing or laying down does, and poor ergonomics can cause you to strain to see your monitor or use your keyboard.
Fighting Back Against Back Pain
Oftentimes when someone suffers a back injury, they don’t have enough time off to fully recover before going back to work. This means that simple injuries that could heal don’t, and the injured person is often right back to the job that caused the injury to begin with.
Preventing injuries like back injuries should be the top priority in any workplace. For physical jobs like factory work or package handling, rotating employees to different positions throughout the day can help relieve the strain of repetitive work. For office workers, ensuring they have the ability to adjust their desks for sitting, standing, and different keyboard and monitor heights cam prevent all kinds of health problems including back injuries. Safety training on how to avoid back injuries can also help raise awareness of the importance of being aware of such injuries.
Having policies in place to help workers heal when they do have back injuries can also help. Ensure workers have adequate time to recover or to go to physical therapy as prescribed by their physician. Most back injuries can be healed with moderate care and expense, but when workers lack funds and time off it can make healing less of a priority.
It’s also important to prioritize healthy lifestyle choices — physical activity and weight can have an impact on back pain, so encouraging people to take regular breaks to go for a walk or do some yoga can make a difference.
Back Pain Is Insidious – Fight Back Before It’s Too Late
Back pain can take away a person’s peace of mind and prevent them from being able to do everyday activities. Preventing back pain and treating it seriously once it has occurred can make a huge difference in the long run. Learn more about preventing back pain in the workplace from the infographic below.