Back Pain on the Job Site & in the Office
Back pain in a common ailment both on the job-site and in the office environment.
A number of factors can contribute to back pain at work.
- Force. Exerting too much force on your back — by lifting or moving heavy objects for example — can cause injury.
- Repetition. Repeating certain movements can lead to muscle fatigue or injury.
- Posture. Slouching exaggerates the curves of your back, which can lead to muscle fatigue and injury.
Back Pain and the Canadian Population
Back pain affects up to 30% of the Canadian population and will affect up to 80% of adults at some time in their lives (Canadian Chiropractic Association, 1988). Further, back pain is cited as the second most common ailment in the workforce leading to lost-work time.
Whether you are in the office or on the job-site, the possiblity of back injury or dealing with a current back injury is very common. Given this, it is important to understand what is contributing to back injuries in the workplace; it breaks down into three categories as follows:
Posture: As you might expect, your back posture is important in the prevention of back injury. Slouching in your chair pushes against the natural curves in your back, stressing your muscles which leads to fatigue and injury.
Force: Workers on a job-site are particularly suseptible to force relating to back injury. Putting too much force on your back muscles by improper lifting and moving of heavy objects can easily cause injury.
Repetition: Movements such as leaning or bending over for common repetitive tasks can certainly lead to back injury.
So what can a person do about back injury prevention? First, be aware of the potential for back injury in your workplace. What is your particular situation that could lead to back pain — know this and take the precautionary measures.
The Canadian Chiropractic Association states that the Canadian back pain bill is estimated at $800 million annually; it’s a dollar figure that organizations are taking seriously as the many company benefit programs, plum full of massage, chiropractic, and activity-based relief, can attest to.
Talk to your company safety representative about workplace ergonomics to ensure you are minimizing the risks both in the offic and on the job-site.