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Back Care Awareness Week

08 Oct 2018

This week there’s a national campaign to help people avoid back problems – University staff well-being gives you the information

Back pain is a major health issue costing the country and the health service billions of pounds every year.  Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the leading causes of sickness absence, which it is estimated costs the UK economy £15bn annually.

Exercise is commonly advised as one of the best ways to help prevent and manage most back pain. The type of exercise you do does not matter as long as you do something and remain active. Some people find that swimming helps them, others swear by yoga, while many people enjoy walking or running. The choice of exercise is yours because if you enjoy what you are doing, you will be more likely to continue and see the benefits.

Backcare.org.uk has a range of useful exercises to strengthen your back and prevent and ease back pain. If you find that any of the exercises exacerbates your back pain, try another one or seek advice from your GP or health professional. You should, however, expect some minor discomfort after starting an exercise programme, since your body may not be used to exercise.

If your work is more manual in nature try to be aware of and work according to health and safety procedures such as manual handling or loading procedures.  For office based staff it’s vital to always try to maintain good posture. The NHS has really useful tips on correct posture at work.

If you do suffer from back pain caused or made worse by being at work, talk to your manager or the Disability, Advisory and Support Service. They may be able to help you come up with adaptations to your work environment.

Further information

Staff Wellbeing website