Workplace Safety Guides

   Avoid Back Injury Every Day


Some factors to consider with lifting are how much will you have to lift? How often will you have to lift and carry a load? How high or low will you have to place the object and is there a place for it? How long a period of time is the weight to be carried or handled?

If you are required to do some prolonged standing, raise and rest one foot on a support about eight inches high. This raises the front of your pelvis and relieves the pressure on your back. This isn't new. The rails weren't built around counters and bars for nothing.

Good posture and support for your spine is just as important when you are lying down as it is while you are standing or sitting. Use a firm mattress. Sleeping on your side with your knees bent can help support the back and ease any tension.

It may also help to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. Lying on a soft, sagging mattress can cause back problems.

Sitting places most stress on the back or its discs, even more than standing or jogging. When sitting, adjust your chair to a comfortable height and make sure it supports your lower back. Your knees should be slightly above or level with your hips. If the back of your chair doesn't adjust to your comfort, you may want to use a pillow or a backrest. Avoid slouching or reaching. Try not to sit too long and shift your position throughout the day.

When sitting while driving, adjust your seat forward enough to allow your knees to bend and be slightly higher than your hips. Use a pillow or a rolled up towel to help support the back if necessary.

The best prevention of back pain is staying fit. Lack of endurance, stamina, and poor posture can be the back's worst enemies. Muscles fatigue easily with lack of exercise and can't sufficiently perform their role to support the spine. This causes the vertebrae and discs to bear more weight than they should.

Involve yourself in a good exercise like walking or swimming. A brisk walk is one of the best and safest exercises. Ask your doctor to design an exercise program that would be good for you.

Index of Workplace Safety articles | Next Article: General Back Safety | Previous Article: Safely Lifting or Carrying Awkward Objects