Back pain at work
Workers tied to desk for 97 mins on average
before taking a break
In an online poll of 1905 British workers aged over 18, more than
70% say they have experienced pain
in their back, neck or upper limbs as a result of sitting at their desk
New statistics on the incidence of back pain among workers have been
released today (17 October) by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
(CSP), along with advice on preventing bad backs to mark National Back
While physiotherapists recommend people take a break from their
workstations every 20 mins, the poll, carried out by YouGov for the CSP,
shows that most respondents are chained to their desks for 97 minutes
or more at a time - about five times longer than suggested, and 23%
do not get up for a quick break for three hours or more.
New leaflet 'Fit to Work'
Help on how to avoid common work-related aches and pains is now available
from the CSP in a new leaflet entitled Fit to Work and exercises
recommended by chartered physiotherapists. CSP Chair of Council Sarah
" Back pain is still rife in the workplace, resulting in sickness
absence and reduced performance. Many cases could easily be prevented,
would save money for businesses."
Physiotherapists know that back pain and other work-related upper-limb
disorders can become debilitating if left untreated. Physiotherapists
are best placed to advise employees and employers on how they can be
Staying active is key to preventing back pain and aiding recovery. With
more and more of us in sedentary occupations, it is vital that employers
and the government prioritise the health of the workforce by investing
in thorough risk assessments and swift access to rehabilitation services. The latest figures indicate that almost 5 million working days were lost through
bad backs in 2003/4. On average each sufferer took about 20 days off
For a free copy of the leaflet, send a stamped self-addressed envelope
to 'Fit to Work', The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, 14 Bedford
Row, London WC1R 4ED.
Source: The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, http://www.csp.org.uk.