Office work leads to back ache for third of UK staff

Office work leads to backache for third of UK staff

A third of UK office staff suffer from backache as a direct result of their work environment, a new survey suggests

The research, conducted by office power and technology company CMD ltd, found that 33% of office workers complained of backache due to working at a desk.

Office work typically involves sitting desk-bound for extended periods of time which can have a significant impact on a person’s posture.

Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents said they slouched at work, while a further 13% said they were affected by neck ache.

Jonathan Griffin, IT Systems Developer at CMD, said: “Many people who work in an office find themselves with postural issues as a result of sitting at a desk all day. It isn’t surprising that backache is the most popular complaint amongst office workers, as many offices fail to follow the correct ergonomics needed for a healthy working position. Problems such as inadequate back support and badly placed monitors are often to blame for backache.”

The position in which someone sits at a desk can result in visible changes to their overall posture. For example, a desk set-up that forces an employee to look downwards, slump their shoulders and maintain a strained position can lead to permanent slouching as the body attempts to adjust to this unnatural daily position.

Ben Goffen, Doctor of Chiropractic, explained: “Over years of desk work, we often see functional changes become structural as time goes on. We actually see changes to our brain’s “map” of what it thinks is our normal postural position. This leads to our upright standing posture looking much like a sitting slumped posture.”

One in ten office workers who answered the survey said their work environment had caused shoulder ache, while another 8% said they were affected by wrist ache.

Posture issues can be prevented by paying attention to correct sitting positions and using ergonomic equipment that supports good posture.

Research suggests that the use of effective ergonomic products such as monitor arms can reduce the number of musculoskeletal problems by 61%, reducing lost workdays by 88%.

Jonathan Griffin concludes: “Using equipment that supports good ergonomics, such as sit-stand desks and monitor arms can be extremely effective in preventing injury. Additionally, ensuring you are sitting correctly can make a substantial difference to your posture in years to come”.

Author: Editorial Team

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