Reduce lower back pain: 3 tips from surgeons group

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Rosemont, IL — In light of data showing that about 1 in 4 working adults have low back pain, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is offering tips to strengthen and protect the back.

“Good musculoskeletal health is not just about treating problems when they arise; it’s about taking proactive steps to prevent them in the first place,” Alan S. Hilibrand, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery, said in an AAOS press release. “By maintaining proper ergonomics at our workstations and building the strength of our core stabilizing muscles, we can significantly reduce the risk of developing debilitating chronic or debilitating back pain and related conditions.”

So, whether working from home or in an office, or a combination of both, “it’s important to invest in your musculoskeletal health and protect your back,” AAOS says. Here’s how:

1. Check your posture. “Sitting properly is the first step to protecting your back. You may not realize how often you slouch or hunch over your desk while working.” Maintaining and practicing the right posture can help prevent back pain and injury. While sitting, keep your back in a “normal, slightly arched position and your head and shoulders erect.” If needed, adjust your chair so your elbows are relaxed, your hands are resting comfortably on a table or desk, your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and your feet are flat on the floor.

2. Create an ergonomic workspace. “Your work environment can have a big impact on your comfort and musculoskeletal health. Instead of forcing your body to fit your workspace, set up your workspace to fit your body.” Make sure your computer screen is at eye level so you don’t need to lean forward. Invest in ergonomic office equipment that’s designed for back support and proper posture. Consider using an exercise ball (or Swiss ball) as a desk chair to help your core and protect your back.

3. Give yourself a break. Take a few minutes every hour to stand up and slowly stretch. “Carefully place your hands on your lower back and gently arch backward. Take a walk to the break room, another room in your remote workplace or take a lap around the office. You can even try some simple desk exercises like neck stretches and shoulder rolls. A break not only protects your back but can also refresh your mind so you can return to your work with sharp focus.”

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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Sedentary lifestyles proving a pain during the pandemic, survey finds

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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New York — The average U.S. adult now spends six hours a day sitting – four hours longer than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – and they’re feeling more aches and pains because of it, results of a recent survey show.

Commissioned by pharmaceutical company Pfizer, researchers from marketing research company OnePoll surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults about changes in their at-home habits during the pandemic and health effects linked to those changes.

More than 3 out of 5 respondents said they have a more sedentary lifestyle now as a result of working from home and spending more time on social media and watching entertainment. About 60% of the respondents said they have developed more aches and pains thanks to the additional time sitting, while 75% of those working from home said their workstations are causing them pain and discomfort. In particular, 22% found themselves having backside pain or discomfort.

Additional sitting and inactivity also have led to changes in eating habits and added stress. When it comes to eating, 34% of the respondents said they’ve chosen fattier and unhealthy foods since the pandemic began.

The World Health Organization, which in November updated its physical activity guidelines, recommends adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity, each week.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

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