Sitting back waiting for trouble?

Over ten thousand people visit their osteopath each week because of problems caused by poor office seating, according to a recent survey carried out by Britain’s osteopaths.

The osteopaths reported that unsuitable office seating, and poor sitting posture are the cause of 50% of all the problems they see among patients who have primarily sedentary jobs. The recent survey, which was carried out amongst 1000 of Britain’s 4,500 practising osteopaths found that sedentary workers who use computers, or are secretaries, bank clerks and accountants are the most frequent visitors to osteopaths, suffering from a variety of back, neck and other problems.

It was found that 40% of people who visit their osteopath do so because of a problem or injury associated with their work. Of these patients, well over half are sedentary workers, many of whom are being forced to sit in chairs not designed for the job they do. Over a period of time they may develop severe back problems, pains in the neck, and strain to their arms and fingers without knowing the cause. It can frequently be traced back to an unsuitable office chair!

While computer secretaries and clerks are most at risk from these problems, bus and lorry drivers, and sale reps also suffer from injuries linked to sitting.

Many commuters, who sit for up to 2 hours a day in a car or train, and then spend 7 or 8 hours sitting at work, are especially vulnerable to low back pains and high back and neck problems.

EC legislation on office seating at VDU workstations may ultimately prevent this high level of musculoskeletal injury, but few companies yet provide their employees with the right kind of seating for the job.

The EC regulations say that all seating for VDU users should be fully adjustable for height, swivel and back position. Office workers can help prevent these potentially serious problems if they do some simple exercises in the office during breaks. Here at the Bower Mount Clinic our Osteopaths can advise patients what exercises are right for their particular seating problem. We can also recommend the best type of seating for you and we can even advise Companies on how to avoid back pain, repetitive strain injuries in their staff. We can also advise workers on manual handling skills.