Back pain - the great suffering of office workers

Back care – back pain in the workplace | Fit For Work
Development of a risk score for low back pain in office workers

If you tap too much on your smartphone, you can irritate the tendons in your fingers and then get what you commonly call the "mobile phone thumb". Whose mouse is not properly adapted (for example, it can be too small), can also pull a "mouse arm". And if the tendon irritations spread into the shoulder, this can lead to the "tablet shoulder".

The names are not officially scientific, but they are still painful: Doctors are more familiar with the classic "tendinitis". It is usually an overuse of the various muscle and tendon groups, which can occur anywhere where man has tendon sheaths. Triggers are monotonous stressful activities, such as steady mouse clicks or tapping mobile phone keyboards. Those who work particularly much on the PC and suffer from it, can even assert this as an occupational disease.

Too many suffer from back pain

Anyone who suffers from mouse arm, mobile phone thumb or tablet shoulder should do one thing above all: Immobilize the joint. Who can, should work less with smartphone and tablet or type more slowly. In extreme cases, the thumb, wrist or forearm is even immobilized with a cast, but often a splint is sufficient.

These overloads of tendon sheaths are not often the only ailments that knowledge workers suffer from. 85 percent of all Germans have back problems at some point in their lives. But there are ways to reduce the complaints.

How can I stop my back from hurting at work
What can cause back pain when you are working on a computer

"In this way, an office worker can ensure that the workplace is ideally suited to him." "Anyone who sits in front of a computer or notebook for a long time should set up their workplace ergonomically," the Bitkom advises. Often, for example, the desk chair is set incorrectly. It should be so high that the keyboard and mouse are on the same level as the elbow. The advice of the IT industry association is that an unnatural angle is avoided, which helps to reduce back discomfort.

Danger source desk

Prudent companies make sure that their employees sit on proper office chairs. After all, they often spend a lot of time on them: On average, each adult sits 11.5 hours a day. Good office chairs should be height adjustable and have a flexible backrest, is the advice of Bitkom. If you pay attention to proper sitting, you should also pay attention to the distance to the monitor. Back pain can also occur if you stick too close to the screen: About half a meter distance is ideal, the Bitkom advises.

It is not only the table that endangers the health of office workers: you can also do a lot wrong with the light." "The workplace should have sufficient daylight and the screen should be positioned at right angles to the window," another tip from the IT industry association. Often the sunlight blinds or is reflected in the screen, which can quickly tire the eyes.

Tablets lead to neck pain

However, those who frequently leave their workplace are not immune to pain and discomfort. Those who often work on the go usually carry a notebook or tablet with them. Here there are two problem areas: Once back pain can arise through the constant, often one-sided carrying of a heavy bag.

In addition, the keyboard and screen of these devices are firmly connected. This makes it more difficult to adopt the optimal working position, warns Bitkom. Also problematic: "When working on a notebook, the viewing angle is usually not optimal, which can lead to neck pain," warns Bitkom. Who can, should therefore get an external keyboard, with which he can work on the go.

In order to loosen tense shoulders and neck muscles and prevent back pain, small exercises, which can also be performed in the office, help. Meanwhile, many health insurance companies (such as the AOK or the TK) show small tips on their websites to get a fitness kick in between the small break and prevent back discomfort.

But the most important tip of all: Do not sit! Because who sits longer, is dead earlier. Not every company provides its employees with standing desks and only a few companies have won the short standup meeting. But standing up for at least five minutes at least once an hour stimulates the circulation, loosens tense muscle groups in the back and ensures better blood circulation. By the way, the latter also ensures that you can think better, so you work more concentrated and are generally fitter.

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