Back pain is a common nuisance that keeps many from completing daily tasks or enjoying life. It is also the leading cause of disability across the globe. In fact, an estimated 70-90% of individuals experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. It is often the result of common everyday movements, an injury, accident, or other medical condition. Muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and discs are designed to work together, and when the system is thrown off for whatever reason, it can cause a lot of pain.
Studies show that back pain can also increase the risk of other health problems, including mental health issues. Evidence shows that when the quality of a person’s life is affected negatively because of back pain, their psyche is negatively affected as well. One study found that people with chronic back pain even had an increased risk for alcohol abuse, and anxiety or mood disorders. Another found that those who experience back pain are twice as likely to experience anxiety, depression, psychosis, stress, and sleep deprivation.
Source: Medical News Today
Preventing back pain
Preventing back pain all comes down to your overall physical health, daily posture, and strain on your back:
- First, maintaining a healthy weight will help to not place any excess weight on your back to cause pain. Exercise, of course, is an effective way to maintain a healthy weight. Certain exercises, like swimming, can even strengthen the muscles without jolting them so suddenly that it could cause injury.
- Second, posture is just as important to ensure your spine, and the muscles surrounding it, stay upright and in place. Always stand and sit upright, with your feet placed evenly and flat on the floor.
- Third, while lifting heavy items, make sure to take the proper precautions to distribute your weight and the item’s weight evenly onto other body parts, like your legs, to prevent any strain your back that could cause injury.
Source: Back pain prevention
One way to improve your posture is by strengthening and stretching the muscles through exercise classes. A good exercise class will strengthen the muscles so they are even from front to back, meaning if the chest muscles are being strengthened, the upper back muscles will be too. This creates a balance between the front and back of the body and ultimately improves posture.
Yoga is an exercise class that is specifically beneficial in this regard, as it increases both strength & flexibility. Holding poses, with proper guidance on posture, ultimately helps improve the stabilizing muscles that allows one to correct posture and prevent back pain
Back pain in the workplace
A common cause of back pain stems from certain repetitive movements and lifting heavy objects at work. Back discomfort is one of the most common reasons people miss work. As an employer, your employees’ back pain can be dangerous for both them and your business. Many companies have utilized corporate health activities that help to prevent and/or alleviate back pain, while also showing them that you care for them and their health.
It is also common for employees to not utilise their workspace correctly. It is important to have desks, chairs, and other furniture/equipment that allows them to work in a way that creates the least stress on their bodies. Bringing in someone who is an ergonomics professional is a key way to prevent workplace injuries (including neck or back pain, as well as carpal tunnel, RSI and tinnitus). While ergonomics assessments may seem costly, it is a one-off expense, and a valuable investment compared to the time and expenses of a workers compensation injury claim. Having comfortable and healthy employees is invaluable!
Another way to reduce or eliminate back pain is to manage workplace stress. Most people have jobs that are demanding in one way or another. Perhaps your boss does not listen to you as an employee, or maybe there are deadlines that are impossible to fulfil. Often, it’s not possible for an employee to get rid of these stressors, but giving techniques/ tools to reduce and cope with these stressors is something an employer can do. A stress management course can provide invaluable tools to staff that not only reduce stress, but can prevent & reduce back pain, but also increase productivity and employee satisfaction.
Some worplaces are now introducing agile workstations to help with ergonomics and the health of employees.
Relieve back pain with HSG
HSG offers a variety of group activities for employees that promote a healthy mind and body. Many of our programs even provide relief to those experiencing back pain in the workplace. Each of these options is a powerful experience that will leave a lasting impression on its participants.
HSG offers corporate fitness classes across Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. These classes can either be held inside or outdoors and include a variety of different fitness programs, including flexibility and stretching classes, Pilates, Zumba, boxing, martial arts, and more. Corporate fitness programs promote healthy lifestyles that are proven to improve mental health and attitude. Allow one of our professional, experienced fitness trainers to tailor a session to your employees’ needs, or choose from our listed programs.
Exercise is a proven way of reducing or preventing any back pain, and activities like yoga or can improve the flexibility and strength of your back muscles. An analysis of people experiencing back pain who practice yoga against others experiencing pain who don’t exercise at all, found that yoga may improve back function and reduce back pain. Beginning yoga movements are slow and easy which reduces any kind of extra strain on your muscles. HSG can bring experienced yoga instructors to your business in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Stress management courses offered through HSG are interactive workshops where employees will learn to reduce tension and anxiety, create personal action plans, and practice resiliency techniques. With stress management training, an employee experiencing back pain may find it easier to cope and find a solution for their pain. Also, it may help to prevent the pain in the first place! HSG offers stress management courses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.
Another way of promoting happiness, health, and productivity in the workplace lies in the setup of an employee’s workspace. The placement of a desk or chair for long periods of time can create pain or discomfort. Work station design, as well as the space to move around between tasks, can completely transform the way an employee approaches their work. HSG provides ergonomic assessments across Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth, conducted by experienced ergonomic consultants. These expert occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and exercise physiologists will evaluate staff posture, physical work demands, equipment, and more, and then issue a detailed report on every employee.