Lower Back Pain: How to Sit at Work for a Successful Career

Obafemi is a 41-year-old accountant with one of Nigeria’s banks. He has not been to work for four months because of the excruciating pain in his lower back that leaves him in bed for most of the day.  He has not had any problem securing an extended sick leave at work because his immediate boss also suffers from debilitating lower back pain and so understands his challenge. 

With a predominance level of about 80% and an average age of 45 years, mechanical back pain (any type of back pain caused by placing abnormal stress and strain on the muscles of the spine) has reached epidemic levels among professionals in Nigeria. A common symptom is pain in the lower back that may spread to the buttocks, thighs, and at times all the way down to the ankle.  Other common symptoms include spasms and cramping in the muscles of the back and, sometimes, tingling sensation and numbness in the legs.

Mechanical back pain doesn’t just happen.  It is brought about by years of:

Avoiding Lower Back Pain: Illustration of a bad sitting position and the correct one

Since mechanical back pain is brought about by years of these wrong/bad habits at work, making a few adjustments can help you minimise the risk of developing this career-limiting ailment or slow down the deterioration of an already afflicted back.

With a predominance level of about 80% and an average age of 45 years, mechanical back pain (any type of back pain caused by placing abnormal stress and strain on the muscles of the spine) has reached epidemic levels among professionals in Nigeria.

Tips on sitting correctly at work

 

Read Also: Severe Lower Back Pain: The No. 1 Office Enemy

Your Chair

Your Keyboard

Read Also: Vitamins and Supplements: What You Need to Know Before Taking Them

 

Your Screen

Incorrect positioning of the screen can result in awkward postures. Adjust the screen so that your neck is in a neutral, relaxed position.

Pauses and Breaks

Once you have correctly set up your computer workstation, use good work habits to avoid lower back pain and neck pain. No matter how perfectly you have set up your chair, table and computer, sitting or craning your neck over books or computers for a long time will slowly damage your lower back.

 

Nkiru Jibuaku has practised as a physiotherapist for 18 years in both Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

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