Are you suffering from back and neck pain? If so, you are not alone. According to research conducted last spring and published by the Daily Mail on 10/04/2018 two out of five Brits are also experiencing the same problem. That same research suggests that the culprit of pain is largely chalked up to office work, too much time bent over personal electronic devices, and a general lack of movement in our lifestyles.

 The prevalence of back, neck and shoulder pain is on the rise in the UK and it is costing businesses and the national economy revenue. According to the NHS (https://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2015/04/bad-backs-cost-the-uk-31-million-days-of-work), “31 million days of work were lost in 2013 due to back, neck and muscle problems”. This absenteeism is estimated to have cost the British economy £14 billion and each employer approximately £500.  Thus, the pain and discomfort we feel far exceeds the physical and stretches into our pockets and treasure.

 Sadly, an estimated 80 per cent of all British citizens are expected to encounter back pain at some point in their lives. This data suggests that we will personally be affected, if you are not already, and the overall costs to our economy, businesses and the national health care system will continue to rise. While expenditures for addressing acute and chronic back and neck discomfort are primarily spent on reactive treatment, meaning that the already pain exists, it seems that our money would be better spent on preventive measures.

 I base this assessment on three primary reasons. Foremost, if we can avoid the aches and pains, we should take measures to do so. I am certain that most of us would! That said, much of the recent studies conducted suggests that it is our lifestyle, for instance sitting at work or at home in front of our electronic devices, that is generating our spinal discomfort. Hence, we should rethink our lifestyle and/or improve the way in which we engage in our daily activities so as to circumvent the negative physical by-products of our environment and routine. Second, once the pain has presented itself, we are forced to waste our precious resources on combating it. From sick leave to doctor visits, we are squandering time and money that we could be spending on other things. Third, should the pain persist or become chronic, we risk having to resort to medication to manage our condition. The introduction of pharmaceuticals into our react treatment regime is problematic on numerous levels. On one hand, medicine does not treat the condition but the symptoms of our condition—it dulls our pain but does not alter what is causing it. On the other hand, there is the concern of the general side effects of prescriptions, as well as the likelihood of becoming addicted to the medication.

 In my humble opinion, we should take a proactive approach to fighting back pain. But how do we pre-empt back pain? The approach must be multifaceted. For instance, doctors recommend exercise and a little training to improve our normal behaviour. The latter includes changing how you sit at your desk and for how long you remain there at any given time. Concerning the former, many of us tend to hunch in our seats or over our devices as we spend prolong periods of time seated in one place. Learn to be conscious of your posture as you are seated and keep track of how long you have been seated. While this requires a little effort at first, you will soon find that maintaining a good posture while seated becomes second nature very quickly. Concerning the latter, try not to remain seated in one position for protracted periods of time. Some options include standing for a while at your desk, or fitting in exercises while you work

 One final preventive option that business owners and employees should consider is equipping their offices with ergonomic furniture. Since we cannot all leave our office jobs or ask our employees to stand for eight to ten hours per day in their cubical, it makes physical and fiscal sense to invest in furnishings that maintain our wellbeing.

 

Are you suffering from back and neck pain? If so, you are not alone. According to research conducted last spring and published by the Daily Mail on 10/04/2018 two out of five Brits are also experiencing the same problem. That same research suggests that the culprit of pain is largely chalked up to office work, too much time bent over personal electronic devices, and a general lack of movement in our lifestyles.

 The prevalence of back, neck and shoulder pain is on the rise in the UK and it is costing businesses and the national economy revenue. According to the NHS (https://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2015/04/bad-backs-cost-the-uk-31-million-days-of-work), “31 million days of work were lost in 2013 due to back, neck and muscle problems”. This absenteeism is estimated to have cost the British economy £14 billion and each employer approximately £500.  Thus, the pain and discomfort we feel far exceeds the physical and stretches into our pockets and treasure.

 Sadly, an estimated 80 per cent of all British citizens are expected to encounter back pain at some point in their lives. This data suggests that we will personally be affected, if you are not already, and the overall costs to our economy, businesses and the national health care system will continue to rise. While expenditures for addressing acute and chronic back and neck discomfort are primarily spent on reactive treatment, meaning that the already pain exists, it seems that our money would be better spent on preventive measures.

 I base this assessment on three primary reasons. Foremost, if we can avoid the aches and pains, we should take measures to do so. I am certain that most of us would! That said, much of the recent studies conducted suggests that it is our lifestyle, for instance sitting at work or at home in front of our electronic devices, that is generating our spinal discomfort. Hence, we should rethink our lifestyle and/or improve the way in which we engage in our daily activities so as to circumvent the negative physical by-products of our environment and routine. Second, once the pain has presented itself, we are forced to waste our precious resources on combating it. From sick leave to doctor visits, we are squandering time and money that we could be spending on other things. Third, should the pain persist or become chronic, we risk having to resort to medication to manage our condition. The introduction of pharmaceuticals into our react treatment regime is problematic on numerous levels. On one hand, medicine does not treat the condition but the symptoms of our condition—it dulls our pain but does not alter what is causing it. On the other hand, there is the concern of the general side effects of prescriptions, as well as the likelihood of becoming addicted to the medication.

 In my humble opinion, we should take a proactive approach to fighting back pain. But how do we pre-empt back pain? The approach must be multifaceted. For instance, doctors recommend exercise and a little training to improve our normal behaviour. The latter includes changing how you sit at your desk and for how long you remain there at any given time. Concerning the former, many of us tend to hunch in our seats or over our devices as we spend prolong periods of time seated in one place. Learn to be conscious of your posture as you are seated and keep track of how long you have been seated. While this requires a little effort at first, you will soon find that maintaining a good posture while seated becomes second nature very quickly. Concerning the latter, try not to remain seated in one position for protracted periods of time. Some options include standing for a while at your desk, or fitting in exercises while you work

 One final preventive option that business owners and employees should consider is equipping their offices with ergonomic furniture. Since we cannot all leave our office jobs or ask our employees to stand for eight to ten hours per day in their cubical, it makes physical and fiscal sense to invest in furnishings that maintain our wellbeing.

 

Older Post

0 comments

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published