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Protecting Your Back at Work

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Protect Your Back While You're at Work

It's the only one you have!

It's Monday morning. My back is aching. I spent Saturday sitting on an airplane, sitting outside in the cold at a sporting event, then sitting on an airplane to fly home. Sunday I cleaned out, organized, and rearranged my home office. Now I sit behind my desk at work typing on my computer. All the lifting, carrying, and moving furniture and items, combined with sitting for long periods of time, took a toll on my back. So it's fitting that I am now writing about protecting your back. Whether it's at work or home, there are several ways to protect your back.

Your everyday life - what to do to decrease back pain

There are several things you can do to keep the above factors in-check. 

What can cause your back pain at work?

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several factors, including:

  • Too much force from lifting or moving heavy objects. Like what I did this past weekend. 
  • Repetition of movements, including twisting and rotating your spine. 
  • Inactivity - such as sitting in a chair all day. Which is what I'm doing right now. 
  • Other factors - age, weight, physical condition

What can you do to avoid or prevent back pain at work?

Protect-Your-Back-Info

In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, pay attention to how you sit, stand, move, and lift objects while at work. 

  • Your posture is important. Stand with weight evenly distributed on both feet. Stop slouching. Sit in a chair that supports the curve of your back. Make sure your seat is at a level that allows your thighs to be parallel to the floor.
  • Lift the right way. Tighten your core and lift with your legs. Keep object close to your body. Don't twist. And have someone help you lift those extra heavy items.
  • Mix it up. Take a break to stretch and alternate between strenuous and less strenuous tasks - whenever possible. Use a headset or speaker phone when talking on the phone and typing/writing at the same time. Put down that heavy briefcase. And women, how heavy is your purse? That can be adding strain to your back.
  • Change it up and listen to your body. When you feel your body tensing or getting sore. Stretch. Change. positions. Get up and walk around - even if it's just to go to the bathroom or get a drink.

If your pain doesn't go away you may want to get a massage, go to a chiropractor, have acupuncture done, or have it checked out by a doctor. 

Now take a minute to stretch. Then get back to work.

(Source: Back Pain at Work: Preventing pain and Injury - Mayo Clinic)

Written by Lori Narewski, marketing manager at The Alpha Group

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