Because of the role the spinal column plays in stabilizing your body, any injury to it or its supporting tissues can severely impact your ability to work. Back injuries, as well as back pain, consistently rank as one of the leading causes of disability in the world. It's frustrating when you sustain a back injury. Even if it's minor, it may force you to take time off work until your body heals. You can often prevent back injuries in the workplace, however, by following a few simple tips.
#1) Wear the Right Shoes
Don't underestimate the importance of wearing the right shoes in the workplace. If your shoes are worn to the point where they no longer offer adequate support, they could leave you vulnerable to back injury. Without proper support, more pressure will be placed on your back. Over time, this pressure may stress and injure your back. If you've been wearing the same shoes to work for several years, perhaps it's time to invest in a new pair.
#2) Take Breaks During Repetitive Tasks
When performing repetitive tasks in the workplace, try to get into the habit of taking breaks on a regular basis. Research shows that workers who perform repetitive tasks are more likely to suffer a back injury than their counterparts. You can still perform repetitive tasks in the workplace; you just need to take regular breaks so that it doesn't leave you susceptible to back injuries.
#3) Lift With Your Legs
Perhaps the most important tip to protect against back injuries in the workplace is to lift with your legs. If your job requires you to lift objects, don't make the mistake of lifting them with your back. Rather than bending over to lift objects, flex your knees to lower your body while maintaining your spinal column's natural alignment.
#4) Drink Water
It may sound unusual, but drinking plenty of water can lower your risk of back injury in the workplace. If you are dehydrated, your muscles may cramp up -- and the muscles in your back are no exception. As your back muscles cramp up, they may succumb to injury. Therefore, you should drink plenty of water when working to lower your risk of back injury.
#5) Stretch Daily
Finally, stretching your body can help protect against work-related back injuries. Before lifting heavy objects or performing other physically exhaustive tasks, spend a few minutes stretching. Stretching your body will loosen your back muscles so that they are more flexible and, therefore, less likely to sustain injury.