Just like it says in the title: back pain is responsible for approximately half the cases of employee sick leave in Spain, especially among office workers. Let Instituto Clavel tell you why and offer some postural hygiene guidelines to prevent it from happening to you too.
It is estimated that 80% of the world’s population will suffer low back pain at some time in their lives, making back pain one of the most prevalent health complaints worldwide. So much so that, in Spain, back pain is the second most frequent reason that people go to the doctor, ranking only behind hypertension.
Given those statistics, although a priori it might not be expected, it is not surprising that approximately half of the employee sick leave that takes place in Spain is a consequence of back pain.
Also, although it may not seem like it since it does not involve any kind of physical effort, office work is one of the most harmful. These professionals often suffer from problems such as back pain, contractures, tendinitis, osteoarthritis and even more serious problems such as herniated discs. This is because spending many hours sitting in front of a computer screen making repetitive movements ends up taking its toll on our body.
Poor postural hygiene doesn't help either, so basic ergonomic principles become fundamental to minimize injury and improve our low back health. It is also essential for reducing other problems such as tendinitis in the arms for computer users or carpal tunnel syndrome for those who type non-stop throughout the day.
At Instituto Clavel, as a center specialized in minimally invasive spine surgery, we know that these discomforts significantly reduce the quality of life of patients. Therefore, we want to help you avoid them with some postural hygiene tips.
Principles of good posture for preventing or reducing back pain
As we said, a large number of our patients come to us in search of a solution for their back pain. In many cases it is a disabling condition that keeps them from being able to carry out their daily activities normally.
Although it depends on each case and must always be checked by a doctor, the good news is that in many cases it is pain that can be prevented or alleviated by modifying certain postural habits. We review the basic principles to keep in mind in the workplace:
1. Good quality furniture
The back is one of the most vulnerable zones in office work, so the following should always be kept in mind:
- First and foremost, the chair in which we spend so many hours sitting must good quality. It is important not to skimp on this type of resource to help us maintain correct posture.
- The back of the chair must reach the shoulder area, giving optimal support to the entire length of the back.
- Whenever possible, it is recommended that you have a headrest to rest the cervical area and reduce contractures.
Of course, aside from its quality, it is important to use the furniture correctly. The following points are fundamental:
- Regulate the chair so that the lower back is firmly supported by the backrest. This is necessary to protect this area.
- The ideal height is that which allows your arms to rest on the table and sets your eyes are at the height of the screen frame, allowing you to rest your eyes and neck muscles.
- The arms should remain on the table to avoid tendinitis and, whenever possible, use a pad to rest the wrist when using the mouse.
An extra trick: the use of footrests is recommended to minimize lumbar tension.
Have you taken note of everything? Remember that putting yourself in the hands of a doctor specialized in spinal health will be essential to detect serious problems early, establish a diagnosis and determine the best possible treatment in each case. From Instituto Clavel we want to emphasize, once again, the importance of prevention to avoid pain and spinal injuries that worsen the quality of life and become a hindrance to carrying out daily activities.