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Helping Your Employees Avoid Back Pain

In today’s society, with vast swabs of the world workforce working in offices, office employees are confronted with an enemy that was largely not seen as a problem even just one hundred years ago.


Image: flickr.com/photos/criminalintent

Back pain in the workplace, bought about through poor seating posture, among other things, is a serious problem across the western world. A problem which is only going to increase as more and more workers move into offices over the next decade.

Thankfully, there are ways in which you can help your employees avoid back pain, and in turn, help them become much more useful, productive, and happy members of your workforce. Though there are a number of home remedies your workers can employ to control their back pain, when you allow them to work in an environment in which you’re actively working to help them avoid it altogether, both sides win.

Have Health and Safety Personnel on Staff

As our office workforces grow larger so does the concern for the health of these workers. Unlike in times past, when the dangers of particular jobs were clear to all (construction workers, long haul drivers, for instance), the dangers facing those working from offices are, for the most part, silent.

Having health and safety personnel on staff could include having dedicated health and safety officers if you are a large company, or for a smaller company this could simply mean having a number of staff members with health and safety training. The number of staff members who need to be trained will vary depending upon the size of your business and your country of residence, so this is something you’ll have to look into in your own time. As a general rule however, it’s always better to train more staff than you need, as if a health and safety trained member of staff is sick you’ll still want to have an adequate number of trained members at your disposal at all times.

Purchase Ergonomic Chairs

Ergonomic chairs have been all the rage for coming up to half a decade now, and it’s not hard to see why.

It’s without a doubt that the number one cause of back pain in a working office is that of poor posture (or poor seating position, see below), a problem that can be vastly improved with a good chair. Choosing the perfect ergonomic chairs for your workplace isn’t a decision you should take lightly. Though you will of course have a budget to stick to, it’s important (purely from a profiteering and moral point of view) to remember the point above regarding the fact that employees properly looked after become much more useful, productive, and happy members of your workforce.

That said, you will find opportunities to save money when you purchase your chairs all in one go on a bulk order, which is why it’s so important that you take your time in deciding on the models in which will work best to reduce back pain in your office.

Change Your Seating Position

As was touched upon above, changing your seating position coincides with poor posture to be the number one cause of back pain in a working office.

Now, this can mean two things. Firstly, if you’re currently sitting in a poor position (something your health and safety personnel will be able to inform you on), this is something you will have to change immediately. An example of a poor seating position is one in which you’re constantly crouched over the keyboard, forming a large arch in your back.

Secondly, changing your seating position can also refer to your need to change the way in which you’re sitting every now and then, even if you’re already sitting in a comfortable position. In doing this you allow your blood to flow comfortably throughout your body (an example of when this doesn’t happen is the sensation of your leg feeling ‘dead’ after sitting on it for some time).

In conclusion, back pain in the workplace is a serious problem across the western world. To help your employees avoid back pain it’s important for you to have health and safety personnel on staff, purchase ergonomic chairs, and encourage your employees to change their seating position often.

 

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Employing over 40 people in the UK, Praxis42 is a specialist in occupational health and safety training since 2001. They also offer consultancy services for the creation of policies, procedures, and surveys.

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