Lower back pain is one of the leading conditions that cause employees to miss work and make a trip to the doctor. According to the Health Policy Institute, chronic back pain is consistent among 8% of American adults—and results in limited daily activities.
Whether they have lower or upper back pain, it can negatively affect an individual’s overall quality of life. It is considered one of the top diseases and injuries worldwide. So, what causes back pain, and how can employers help employees avoid back pain in the office?
Why Back Pain Is Prevalent in the Office
Back pain is one of the top causes of work-related disabilities, especially for workers who perform heavy-duty tasks– i.e., lifting heavy objects. Workers who sit all day in an unnatural position are also susceptible to back pain. Other issues can include several risk factors associated with the workplace, including:
- Poor posture
- Using a computer or laptop without a stand
- Seating that involves twisting around and reaching for items
- Uncomfortable seating and desk arrangements
- Stressful workplace environments
Risks of back pain can also increase in individuals who have abnormal spinal curves, poor muscular strength and mobility issues. Furthermore, workers that have previously experienced back pain are also susceptible.
Why Employers Should Be Concerned
Pain in the lower part of the back is a condition that employees should attend to immediately, as it can progress into a long-term injury. Many people suffer from lower back pain, so some of your employees may likely be experiencing this condition.
Back pain in the workplace can significantly affect your business. People with chronic or acute back pain typically do not perform work to their full potential. Additionally, many people claim their back pain is due to work-related stress and activities — and many employers are unaware and unsure of what to do. In turn, both the employee and the company may suffer losses.
How Office Employees Can Prevent and Reduce Lower Back Pain
Here is how you can avoid back pain and help employees that suffer from the condition.
1. Talk With Your Employees
The first step to resolving matters is to become aware of the factors at play. Employers should be available to listen to how employees are feeling. It’s always important to ask questions to find out if they are dealing with any back, sciatica, hip pain or similar.
In some cases, employees do not feel the need to complain about pain, yet learning about these issues is necessary. The manager’s responsibility is to help office workers feel comfortable to ensure optimal productivity and workplace satisfaction.
2. Create an Ergonomic Workspace Environment
Individual desks and chairs can increase the risks of poor posture and back pain. To avoid these problems, consider creating a posture-friendly workstation for office workers. Chairs and tables must be ergonomic, and workers should be able to adjust height properly. For example, a standing desk can help support good posture.
3. Encourage Daily Exercises
Diet and exercise are the best healthy initiatives employees can take. Consider introducing a health and wellness program to encourage exercise. Employees can use a mixture of activities to cure back pain in the workplace. Providing gym memberships and offering healthy employee lunches is another excellent way to promote health and wellness.
Employers can encourage healthy eating by supplying nutritious snacks in the kitchen and placing inspirational quotes around the office.
Encouragement and Motivation in the Workplace
Think of encouraging a healthy lifestyle for employees as an investment for the company. Promoting a healthy workplace can reduce the overall stress in the environment and benefit workers. When you help motivate–and show empathy – you can create a massive difference within the company and accomplish better results in the long run.