What is World Spine Day?
World Spine Day is occurring on October 16th, 2018 this year! This day was created to raise awareness for those who live with back pain and have spinal issues. This is a world-wide event as it is celebrated on every continent through health professionals, patients and general supporters. The theme of this year’s campaign is #LoveYourSpine. Approximately one billion people worldwide suffer from back pain, including everyone from young children to the elderly (WSD 2018). One in four adults suffer from back pain issues and it is one of the biggest causes of disability around the world. Prevention is key to reducing back pain issues and this day is dedicated to spreading awareness and education on taking care of your spine!
Back Pain and the Workplace
Back pain is caused due to accidents, illnesses and disorders, and from workplace injuries. There are certain job positions that are at higher risk for acquiring a back injury. These positions include careers where the employee needs to sit at a desk for long periods of time, long distance drivers, construction workers or other positions that involve heavy lifting and careers that involve awkward positioning, such as beauticians.
Workplace back injuries occur due to the following:
- Twisting or bending awkwardly, especially when lifting or carrying weight
- Sitting or standing in a static position for long periods of time, especially if you are in an awkward position
- Repetitive strain from consistently using the same muscles
- Stress from the workplace can contribute to back and other pain issues
Chronic back pain and Musculoskeletal Disease are linked to depressive symptoms. Putting one’s spine at risk causes long term health concerns and is psychologically damaging as well as physically damaging. Prevention is the best route to avoid disability and time off work, however there are intervention strategies that decrease symptoms and assist the employee with their health.
What Can You do to Avoid Spine Injuries?
There are multiple prevention strategies and education available to ensure your employees are safe from back pain and/or injuries.
- Have an Occupational Therapist complete an Ergonomic Assessment of the employee, the job and the work space to determine risks and prevention strategies
- Watch our FREE video by Melanie Weller on proper office ergonomics that prevent spine injuries and pain
- Organize an ErgoBLAST – this is a one hour training session on office ergonomics and 24 /7 body care and then the Occupational Therapist will setup each workstation for employees to put the principles in place right away!
- Check out our webinars:
1.) Injury Prevention and Ergonomics
2.) Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD): The Research on Causes and Prevention
3.) Office Ergonomics: The Toolkit
- Take micro-breaks throughout your workday to stretch and move your body (1-2 minutes per 30 minutes)
- Keep your body strong – incorporate exercise in your day with cardio, strengthening and stretching to develop your core muscles!
Gowan Consulting specializes in workplace injury prevention and intervention.
Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you in the workplace!
Images retrieved from google.ca/images/spine
WSD (2018). World Spine Day 2018 – Love Your Spine! Retrieved from http://www.worldspineday.org/