Seating & Back Pain, Are they related?
March 7, 2012
Would you believe back pain is the leading cause of sick leave and absence from work? It is not just a person that lifts pulls and drags for a living that are exposed to injury but also the office worker.
A recent study carried out in the UK shows that the cost to employers is over 13 million working days and the cost is around 6 billion Euros. Yet, in the vast majority of cases, these injuries are preventable, and the cost of preventative measures are far below the cost of lost production, injury compensation, social and welfare costs associated with injuries.
The study tells us that the causes of back pain are indeed manual handling work i.e. lifting, pulling, holding loads but it can also be as a result of bad work posture caused by inadequate or poorly adjusted seating made worse by poor design that does not offer the user sufficient seating adjustments to alter their posture.
Set up your chair correctly
Ensure you have a tested chair with relevant test certificates. A lot of seating on the market has not been tested and therefore do not comply with the correct criteria for ergonomics, strength and stability. Most chairs that are bought in DIY shops have been bought in bulk ouside of the EU and while they offer the consumer a cheap alternative in the majority of cases these chairs have not been tested or certified to EU Standards and are simply not fit for purpose.
“Cheap is not always best! You get what you pay for”. Price point is of course important, particularly in these tough times we live in, however it is important to question why one chair is significantly cheaper that another, there is always a good reason. A good ergonomically tested chair will cost in the region of €160 to €540. Your seating choice should be seen as a long term investment in your health and your company’s ergonomic and economic health.
I always find it amusing at how much time and effort a person will put into purchasing a bed or even a mattress, a good mattress is important but do you spend as much time on selecting an office chair? Is the chair tested and certified? By law it has to be, it is an offence to provide a chair that has not been tested and certified in a commercial installation. Can you adjust or adapt the chair to suit your requirements? One size does not fit all; do you know how to adjust your chair?
We offer a free survey of all your existing operators chairs along with advice as to how they should be adjusted and used correctly. We can also verify if your current seating complies with Health & Safety regulations including a search to confirm if your seating has the required test certification to meet with ergonomic requirements. Please follow the link for a full overview on just seven of our operators armchairs which comply with all H & S and EU regulations.
If you would like to receive any information or organise a free assessment please go to our contact us section or call our ergonomic team on 01 4607000.