Back pain is the most common workplace health problem and the NHS estimates that around 150 million working days are lost each year because of this condition. Increasingly, people’s work is office-based, which means they spend long periods of time sat at a desk in front of a computer. It is important to know how to sit correctly in order to prevent back pain caused by poor posture.

Preventing back pain

Back pain affects most of us at some point in our lives, but taking a few simple steps will drastically reduce the likelihood of us suffering with discomfort in our backs; these steps include:

  • Sit up straight; having good posture is essential as it means the muscles and bones in the back are supported fully and aligned correctly. Use a chair with a high back that will support the back and place a pillow or small cushion against the small of the back.
  • Move frequently: get up and move about every now and again as this will release tension and stiffness in the joints and muscles. Sitting still for long periods of time can contribute to conditions such as deep vein thrombosis.
  • Exercise often; try to exercise as regularly as possible; activities that strengthen the muscles and connective tissues in the back, shoulders, stomach and legs are extremely beneficial for your general health; examples of these activities include yoga, Pilates and t’ai chi.
  • Take painkillers if you have back pain; you can take over the counter pain relief for mild pain; if symptoms persist you should see your GP
  • Rest your back if it is painful; avoid lifting or activities that place strain on the back if you already suffering with back pain

Guide to Health in the workplace

Health in the workplace

Managing stress

Hydration and nutrition at work

Preventing repetitive strain injuries


Health benefits packages