The working environment plays a big part in our health and wellbeing, due to the high number of waking hours we spend in it .
About 131 million working days were lost through absences due to sickness or injury in 2013. Stress and back pain are the two biggest causes of absence from work. (NHS Choices)
Workers can not only to reduce their risk of work related ill health but also to use their time at work to boost their health in a number of ways.
About 15.2 million days were lost because of work related stress, depression and anxiety in 2013. Not all stress is work related, coping strategies to deal with the pressures at work are important.Identifying the symptoms of stress before you get ill is important, so you can do something about it. Prioritising your workload and not taking on more than you can manage. Read more at Beat stress at work. (NHS Choices) and you may find some useful tip in this independent blog on dealing with stress at work.
About 30.6 million working days were lost due to work related back, neck and muscle pain and other musculoskeletal disorders in 2013. Often this is due to poor posture or an awkward movements (bending or reaching).
Staying active is often sufficient to maintain strength and minimise injury. it is important to acknowledge that with the back remaining in bed could make things worse. If you stay immobile your back muscles will become weaker and the more they will cause discomfort in the long term.
If you spend most of your time at work sitting at a desk, make sure you are sitting in the right position in relation to your computer, if you are unsure, ask your line manager for a workplace assessment.If you work on a computer a lot, it’s important to take regular breaks.
Many of us spend long hours at work and may have a long and tiring commute. The below suggestions will help you to get active at work:
- cycle or walk to work.
- walk over to speak to others rather than phone.
- take the stairs
- use your lunch break to exercise.
One of the biggest causes of back injury, especially at work, is lifting or handling objects incorrectly. Learning and following the correct method for lifting and handling objects can help prevent back pain.
For more information on correct lifting techniques and safe manual handling, read our guide to lifting safely.
What we eat and drink affects not just our health but our work performance too. If we do not eat a regular well balanced meal or drink enough water we may get headaches, or have difficulty concentrating or lack energy .
Most shops sell a range of healthy lunch choices, however bringing in your own lunch is a good idea because you know exactly what’s in your lunchbox and it will save you money. You could either prepare sandwiches or a salad, or bring leftovers from your evening meal. For healthy eating ideas, check out the healthy eating section.