Did you know that back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide?
There are a lot of ways we can sustain a back injury in our everyday lives, from work life to home life. Once you have that type of injury, it is very difficult to recover from it. That’s because recovery takes time and resources and many people just don’t have the sick days or additional resources to cover a prolonged recovery period.
This is why it’s so important to protect our backs at home and at work so back injuries don’t happen.
Preventing Back Pain In The Workplace
Many workplaces have repetitive tasks that have to be done the same way over and over. One person can end up doing the same task repeatedly throughout the workday.
If it’s possible, switch tasks with others so that no one is doing the same task over and over again. Varying repetitive tasks can protect you from repetitive strain injuries.
There are also impact injuries that can happen when lifting heavy things. If possible, get help from others or from special equipment to lift heavy objects. If lifting heavy objects is a standard part of your daily activities, it’s important to:
- Wear a back brace
- Lift with your legs, not with your back
- Take frequent breaks to stretch
Even desk jobs come with risks. Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your lower back more than standing or laying down by far.
Sitting in an ergonomic position can help you to prevent back pain from taking over your life. It’s also important to pay attention to the position of your keyboard and computer monitor.
Keyboards that are too low can cause you to hunch forward while computer monitors that are too low can cause you to crane your neck forward. Both will put your spine out of alignment and cause unnecessary strain. Putting monitors on risers and raising up your desk can help prevent neck and back pain from repeated strain.
Taking breaks from sitting is also important. Standing desks are a huge craze right now, and for good reason. Having the option to go from sitting to standing is a great way to give your lower back a much-needed break once in a while. Also, getting up and taking a short walk from time to time can help exercise the muscles supporting your core.
Protecting Your Back At Home
While you probably aren’t doing the same repetitive motions at home as you are at work, there are still ways to protect your back from injuries that come from common household accidents.
Slips and falls can cause serious problems so ensure floors are level and any rugs are nonslip. Household chores like mowing the lawn can be strenuous. Ensuring you have the right equipment for the job can really help. Setting up your home office and kitchen to be ergonomic work spaces is also a great way to prevent unnecessary back injuries.
Lifestyle changes are critical in preventing back pain and injuries, too. Even something as simple as going for a walk every evening after dinner can make a big difference in your fitness and help you prevent back injuries.
Bad posture, obesity, and stress are common causes of back pain. When left unchecked, they can lead to more serious problems. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight are your first line of defense against back pain.
Back Pain Is Costly
Lower back pain costs Americans $100 billion per year and half of people of working age report having missed work because of it. But back pain can also cost you your peace of mind and quality of life.
A periodic checkup of things that could lead to back pain could save you in the long run.
Is back pain going to cost you big at work and in your life? Pay attention to your posture and motions at work and at home. Make lifestyle adjustments to deal with potential issues before they arise and take over your life.
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Author: Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.