Office-related back pain
Back pain is one of the most common complains among office workers in the UK, but there are several simple measures you can take to help prevent it disrupting your work day. Bad posture is a leading cause of back pain and most people will be affected at some point. Stress also contributes to back and neck pain so by setting up your work station correctly and making small lifestyle changes, you can minimise the risk of suffering from recurring pain. Staying active throughout the day is a great way to keep your back supple and prevent stiffness which can then lead to pain.
Sitting at your desk
Poor posture in front of a computer monitor is almost certain to lead to problems in the future. You should make sure your office furniture allows you to sit comfortably as if you start your day feeling uncomfortable, you will potentially be in a lot of pain by the end of the work day. Your seating posture is very important, so it’s vital you have a good quality office chair. Office chairs should be fully adjustable and you should set up your chair so that your feet rest firmly on the floor and your thighs are parallel with the floor.
Your computer monitor position and height is very important. Ideally, the top of your monitor should be level with your eyes, so that you are looking down at the screen, but not too far down. Many monitors have an in-built height adjuster, but if you are tall or you find your monitor is too low even when at full height, consider placing it on a monitor raiser. This is a simple piece of equipment that looks like a small table and raises your monitor from the desk. Your keyboard position is also important and you should have space in front of it to rest your wrists on the table. A padded wrist mat can help you work comfortably, as can a mouse mat with a built-in wrist rest. Your mouse should be placed within easy reach and, as with the keyboard, should allow you to rest your wrist on the table in front of it. Your desk surface needs to be big enough to let your work comfortably, so it’s best to use a supplier with a large range to choose from. Companies such as Furniture at Work have a wide variety of office desks, meaning you’ll have plenty to choose from and can ensure you have explored all the options on the market.
Browsing the desks and chairs on offer at a large retailer such as Furniture at Work ensures any queries will be answered professionally and knowledgeably. Specialist retailers will be able to provide advice and help you decide what options are best for your home office.
Tips to maintain a healthy back
– Take regular breaks from the desk, at least one an hour
– Stretch regularly
– Ensure your desk and chair are correctly set up
– Shift your position regularly; don’t sit in the same position for long periods of time as this can exacerbate furniture at work problems.
Kirstie WInters is a freelance interior designer and part-time writer. She advises corporate and individual clients on avoiding common furniture at work problems.