Written by Peter CarterUpdated on July 25, 2020
Responsible for one-third of all work-related injuries and costing the nation $4.8 billion a year is… (drum roll please)…
Lower back pain
Lower back pain is the main cause of lost work time among the 25% of workers aged 18-44 who take at least 10 sick days off a year.
Most affected are those working in the agricultural sector and doing other manual labour, however, office workers are prone to lower back pain too (bad posture and bad office seating are often to blame).
Nearly 80% of Aussies will experience back pain at some point in their lives, so it’s important to be aware and implement strategies at work to minimise the risk.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t attempt to move heavy objects over your lifting capacity
- During breaks, move around by stretching or taking a walk
- Ensure that repetitive work is evenly allocated
- Make sure you’ve set up your work station correctly, and that your natural posture is correct
- Exercise frequently outside of work. Extra weight can put a strain on your lower back
- Smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-rich blood to spinal discs, so smokers are more vulnerable to back pain
Other common workplace injuries include fractures, bruises and musculoskeletal disorder due to slips and falls, fatigue due to long working hours and eye strain from computer screens.