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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Office workers risk back strain
An office worker typing
Typing at your desk all day can be bad for your back
People who work in offices are among the most likely to suffer from back pain, according to the British Chiropractic Association.

It says poor posture while sat at a computer can cause more back problems than the excessive lifting and carrying done by manual workers.

Other professions which run the risk of back problems are nurses, drivers, labourers and teaching staff.

According to the BCA, a third of the population suffers from back pain.

Office worker - Long periods sat awkwardly, slouched over keyboards, sat in badly adjusted chairs
Nurses - have long shifts, on their feet all day, lifting, carrying
Drivers - Hours spent at the wheel, sat in a poor position with limited movement
Labourer - Repeated strain from lifting heavy weights and often twisting in awkward positions
Teacher and nursery staff - Continuously bending down to a child's height and lifting children

Tim Hutchful from the BCA said: "For many who work in an office environment, it is the day-to-day, mundane routines that are at the root of most back problems.

"Hunching over computer keyboards and cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder can all contribute to lower back and neck stiffness, not to mention the fact that many office workers sit for hours at a time with very little movement."

A survey of 2,374 people, carried out by the BCA, found that 59% of the working population sits down all day at work and almost 50% of those who work refuse to leave their desks, even for lunch.

A total of 56% of BCA chiropractors highlighted that those who work in an office were more vulnerable to becoming victims of back pain.

"This survey has highlighted what we chiropractors have known for some time," said Mr Hutchful.

"Lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle is taking its toll.

"It is assumed that those most at risk from back pain are the ones who have very physical jobs.

"However, as this research has unveiled, whilst lifting and carrying are still common triggers for back pain, it is those with less physically demanding jobs and who are often seated for the majority of the day that could be most prone to back problems."

The BCA's warnings were published to coincide with World Spine Day, on Monday 16 October.


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