It’s Back Care Awareness Week so we’ve pulled together some tips on how to take care of your back in the workplace.
For roles where you spend majority of your day at a desk you should ensure that you perform a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and Work Station Assessment periodically. If your work space is set up incorrectly it can lead to health problems including a bad back, eye strain, skeletal problems, headaches and work-related upper limb disorders. This in turn can lead to higher instances of absence.
A poorly set up work station can lead you to be hunched over at your desk which can cause your spine to be incorrectly aligned. When performing a DSE Assessment you should check whether your seat and screen are too low or high which can lead to back and neck ache. Some things you should look out for are:
Equipment wise, the seat back and seat height should be adjustable with good lumbar support and there should be adequate space under the desk to allow you to have a good posture.
Remember that a bit of time spent now can save a lot of pain in the future.
If your role includes a lot of manual work such as construction or stock handler, it’s important to ensure you are being safe when lifting heavy objects or doing repetitive tasks. Where possible you should try to modify tasks to ease the demand on your body. If you can use a lifting aid to help you lift heavy loads this can greatly help you avoid straining.
When lifting heavy objects, it’s best to lift with your legs rather than your back. The best way to do this is:
Alternatively, if there is someone available to help you lift then spreading the weight between multiple people will help protect your back.
It’s important to strengthen your back muscles to help prevent injury. Check out Healthline.com’s article on 15 exercises that are great for strengthening your back.
As an employer, it may be worth considering whether it would be feasible to introduce exercise into your staff’s daily routine. Not only does studies show that exercise can increase productivity and performance by boosting creativity, sharpening memory and improving concentration (Forbes, 2019) but it can also benefit your company by improving employees mental and physical health. This in turn can lead to higher job satisfaction and employees needing to take fewer sick days.
For employees, it is worth discussing with your line manager to see if this is an option that would work for both you and your employer. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Alison Wild BCom (Hons), MAAT, MATT, Taxation Technician is a highly respected industry professional who has been working with and advising SMEs in areas including tax, pensions, insurance and marketing for over 25 years. She is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and also has over 20 years' experience as a residential landlord.
Date: October 03, 2022
Category: Small Business