July 24, 2008
New Spine-Health.Com Survey Shows 50% of Workers Absent 10 or More Days in Past Year Due to Back Pain
A new online survey by Spine-health (www.spine-health.com) shows that back and neck pain and their related health problems are causing productivity troubles at the workplace. The Spine-health.com survey of more than 750 respondents found that 50 percent reported missing work for 10 or more days due to back-related problems. Another 29 percent of respondents said chronic pain kept them off the job for as many as nine days over the last year, according to the survey. Spine-health.com is a 2,000 page online resource written and reviewed by doctors for patients with back pain, chronic pain, and related health issues.
"Health problems caused by long hours sitting in front of a computer are jeopardizing the health of the workforce, and affecting corporate America's ability to compete in the global economy," according to Dr. Peter F. Ullrich, Medical Director of Spine-health and an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Neurospine Center of Wisconsin. "These survey results indicate business will reap great economic and competitive benefits by helping their employees address personal behaviors and habits that hurt their backs."
Whether you're a web designer, lawyer, researcher or engineer, you are at risk because back problems don't discriminate. The criteria are simple. If you sit in an office chair and work at a computer for most of your day, than you have a potential back problem in the making.
"If your job involves sitting at a desk in front of a computer, you are at risk for developing pain associated with sprains and strains to your spine. Poor posture and lack of vascular circulation aggravate the situation." said Doctor Stephen Hochschuler, MD, spine surgeon and Co-founder of The Texas Back Institute (www.TexasBack.com). "Spine-health offers useful tips that are aimed at helping workers of all ages prevent back and neck pain, which can develop as early as your 20s and 30s and continue to progress over time," he added.
As a result of this recent survey, Spine-health is offering tips on preventing back and neck pain with "Five Ways to Turn Back the Clock on Computer-related Back Issues":
1. Just move. Your body can only tolerate one position for 20 minutes at a time, 30 minutes maximum. Learn the Reverse Arch Stretch exercise that can be done right in your office chair and literally takes just a few seconds to do.
2. Avoid hunching. Sitting at the front of your office chair, hunching forward to see the computer screen, is the WRONG way to use your chair. Try the tennis ball technique for 30 days and see if you can "retrain" your posture.
3. Choose an adjustable office chair. Make sure it has the flexibility to adjust to the needs of your body and your work and can support your low back and create good posture. When looking for an office chair, choose one that has the right ergonomics and consider these additional features:
-- Adjustable seat height
-- Enough seat width and depth
-- Lumbar adjustment
-- Adjustable back rest
-- Padded seat material
-- Adjustable arm rests
4. Set up a back-friendly office. Learn some tried-and-true guidelines for setting up your office chair and workstation for your unique work needs. Check out the top 6 guidelines for customizing your office chair.
5. Use exercise as the ultimate weapon against back problems. As you age, having strong back and abdominal muscles - your core body muscles - is critical for maintaining good posture. These muscles don't get used in typical everyday activities, so specific ab and back strengthening exercises are needed to build and maintain these core muscles.
More details on these tips along with a helpful and entertaining video on improving back-related desk and work habits called, "Watch Your Back!" can be found at http://www.spine-health.com/watch-your-back.
Spine-health provides comprehensive, highly informative and useful resources for understanding, preventing and seeking appropriate treatment for back and neck pain and related conditions. Spine-health is a trusted source for almost 1 million consumers every month and is the only spine medicine portal that supports the education of patients through a combination of 100 percent peer-reviewed content, comprehensive information and services and commercial independence. Spine-health is not owned or directed by companies that sell spine products or medication.