Help, I Work in an Office and Now My Back Hurts

Office work..back pain

So you have a job in an office and now you’ve noticed you’re getting some back pain… Whether that’s upper, middle or lower back pain you’re not alone, 

“The University of Sydney has proven that back pain is the most commonly recorded workplace injury.”

In Australia alone, back pain costs around $4.8 billion each year in health care, with 25% of sufferers in the 18-55 age group taking 10 or more days off per year. It’s predicted that nearly 80% of adult Australians will experience back pain at some point during their lives. How crazy is that?! 

Back pain can come down to a few things, being seated for long periods of time with poor office ergonomics is one of the main contributors 

Of late there has been a huge shift in office setups with employers and staff looking at how their desks are set up. 


So how can you change your office set up to help with back pain? Let me give you a few tips

  • Support your back: ergonomic desk chairs are perfect for this and designed to reduce pressure on your back. However they can be pricey so a cheaper alternative is to use a small pillow or roll up a towel to place in the small of your back. 
  • Adjust your chair: adjust the height of your chair so your feet are on the ground with your knees and hips at a right angle. Your forearms should also be parallel to the ground and kept close to your body. If your feet can’t touch the ground place a stool under your feet for support. 
  • Adjust your monitor: the monitor should be about an arms length away from you and at eye level. You shouldn’t have to be looking up or down at the monitor; this will cause strain on your neck and upper back muscles.  
  • Reposition your keyboard and mouse: your keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor and leave enough room on the desk for your wrists to rest as you type. Your mouse should be close by so you are not reaching too far for it. 

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Some other tips to help with back pain are to focus on your posture, even if you have the best chair on the market and set up as i suggested above if you are still slouching in your chair you more than likely aren’t going to see any improvements.

So a few more tips, make sure you are sitting up straight in your chair, shoulders are relaxed down and back. 

One of the best ways to ensure you are not getting too much lower back pain is to get up and move often. Getting up and moving once every 30 minutes is ideal. Be sure to move away from your work space, do some calf raises or squats before sitting back down. Stretching your neck and chest muscles would also be helpful.

Give these tips a go and see how they work out for you!

If you are suffering from lower back pain please contact a health professional.


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