Avoiding Back Pain at Work with Osteopathy, Good Posture and Workstation Ergonomics

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I just finished a two day osteopathic ergonomic and postural workplace assessment at Bella di Notte in Helmsley who are keen to prevent their staff from getting back pain at work and other musculoskeletal complaints by being proactive rather than reactive towards this increasingly costly problem for many businesses.  This is something I am increasingly asked to do by companies who recognise the benefits of a pain free, happy workforce who can sit comfortably and get on with their work more productively than someone who is distracted by physical pain.  Most offices I visit have poor workstation ergonomics, often with the monitor too low and the keyboard too far away, or the seat too low/high with little lumbar support.  Unsurprisingly low back pain is a very common phenomenon in computer users – more than 80% of people using computers for more than 4 hours complain of back pain.  Every year musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are costing UK businesses £7.4 billion a year through absenteeism and an estimated £15 billion a year in presenteeism – people at work, but working less productively due to a MSD.  Back pain and upper limb pain are the most common workplace MSDs, and are prevalent in all types of businesses across a wide variety of industries – not just heavy, repetitive, manual jobs. Sitting slumped at a desk, glued to the computer all day without moving, can cause just as many problems.

Research shows that looking after your workforce actually saves money in the long run, so it is important that employers recognise the benefits of sitting correctly, taking breaks and having osteopathic treatment if necessary. Correct workstation set up can make a massive difference to employees who can be sitting with poor posture on a daily basis for up to 8 hours with little or no breaks.  Regular movement (taking breaks) is one of the key elements in tackling musculoskeletal pain due to computer use.  It reduces the chances of developing a number of health conditions from prolonged sitting which includes muscle and joint pain, back pain, neck pain, RSI, headaches, carpal tunnel to common mental health problems (exercise is great for reducing stress, improving sleep and can even help with memory). A simple activity such as walking is free and something you can easily fit in and around your working day.

MSDs are common, costly and painful for both people and businesses. Actively managing MSDs through correct workstation set-up, osteopathy and embracing the ‘keep moving’ mindset can have a transformational effect for both employers and employees.  Keeping people comfortable and active at work is beneficial for business – it improves fitness, improves performance and quite simply makes people feel better. For businesses, this can result in another step towards a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.

If you would like me to come to your office for an evaluation, please get in touch.  I would be more than happy to help.


Back Pain from Computer Use

Most people that come and see me with back pain these days are sitting at a computer for hours at a time, often with poor posture and incorrect workstation set ups.

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