Work can be a pain – for many reasons! – but you don’t want it to cause you physical discomfort too. Whether you sit at a desk all day long or if your work involves more physical activities, it is important to take good care of yourself and try to avoid any unnecessary injuries that can be bought on by your job.
Our Winter Wellbeing Guide is all about keeping you as healthy as possible during the tough winter months, and helping you to manage your health and wellbeing at home. This week we are focussing on pain relief, so here are our top 5 tips to help you to avoid back pain at work.
Sitting or standing in one position all day isn’t just bad for your body, it is bad for your mind too. Regular breaks at work are vital. Staying mobile will release pressure on your back, prevent stiffness and improve mobility. Earlier this month we advised you to move around more at work in our blog about how to easily reach your 10,000 steps a day. Leaving your work station or desk for regular short intervals (at least once an hour) will also improve your concentration and keep you feeling fresh.
2. Think before you lift
Have you ever bent down to quickly pick something up off the floor and felt a horrible twinge in your back? It isn’t a nice feeling is it? Especially if it leaves you immobile afterwards! The moral of this story is to stop and think before you lift anything at work (come to think of it, you should do this at home too)
The NHS has some excellent tips on Lifting Safely, have a quick read – your back will thank you for it.
3. Keep your head up
Scrunching down over your work is something many of us are guilty of – whether you are a desk worker, a massage therapist, a dog groomer or an engineer, we bet that sometimes you get so engrossed that you hunch up those shoulders and place even more strain on your poor back.
Try to keep your back straight, your shoulders square and your head up (we bet you are doing it right now!) Take a mental note to correct your posture every time you stop for a short breather, straighten up, do a little jiggle and reset yourself before you carry on.
4. Hold the phone!
Are you a multi-tasking hero who likes to keep typing like a fiend whilst taking phone calls? If so, invest in a headset and stop cradling that phone between your ear and shoulder – it is SO bad for your neck and back and will cause unnecessary tension in your upper body. Better yet, if you are calling a co-worker in the same building, walk over and speak to them! It gets you out of your chair (See point 1) and is way more sociable.
5. Keep your feet firmly on the ground
Are you a leg crosser? It might be a comfortable position to sit in but it is really bad for your posture, blood flow and back. Crossed legs will not only increase your risk of varicose veins, it puts extra pressure on the muscles around your pelvis. Try to sit with your feet planted firmly on the ground, shoulder width apart and with your back straight. This will also help you to stay alert and help improve your posture too.
Following these 5 sensible tips should help you to avoid stress on your muscles and back pain at work.
If you DO find yourself suffering with back pain we recommend investing in a TENS Reliever. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a natural, drug-free method of pain relief and our range of Kinetik TENS Pain Relievers can help you manage your pain at home and on the go.
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