Beating Back Pain

More and more people today struggle with back pain.  As our work and lifestyles become increasingly sedentary, we do more sitting around and adding extra pounds.  This makes our backs increasingly vulnerable to injury.

Low back pain is a symptom that something is wrong.  Following are some suggestions if you sit for long periods during your workday:

· Choose a chair that supports the width and length of your back with adjustable armrests and a seat height you can adjust.

· Sit properly, keeping your back straight and close to your work.  Don’t slump forward.  Sit all the way back in your seat, with knees extending just beyond the edge of the chair, and feet resting comfortably on the floor or footrest.

· Adjust your work height and angle.  Your work surface and keyboard should be at elbow level, and the top of your computer screen should be at eye level.

· When possible, get up regularly and stretch.  If not, shift your sitting position at least once every 30 minutes.

Vehicular vibration adds additional stress to those who do a lot of driving.  Here are some tips for drivers:

· Position the seat forward so that your knees are bent.  If the tilt of the seat can be adjusted, change the angle slightly every so often.

· Placing a small cushion at the small of your back and sitting in a slightly reclining angle may ease pressure on your lower back while driving.

· Change your sitting position frequently, or stop and walk around for a few minutes every hour.

From State Compensation Insurance Fund’s Safety News, Issue Two, 2010.