Spotlight on Safety: Preventing Back Injury

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When you sit down for the first time after a long day at work, what aches?  In the construction industry, most likely what aches is your back.  You’re doing repetitive moves all day, and that can lead to serious back injuries if you don’t take preventative measures.

Here are some tips for avoiding back injury:

1.      Improve your posture:  Slouching can lead to long term stress on your back.  In fact, years of poor posture can lead to a weak spine.  To avoid injury, hold in your stomach to avoid putting pressure on your spine and stand or sit upright to keep your body balanced.

2.      Standing Posture:  Standing for long periods of time can be difficult on the back.  To ease the pressure, prop one foot up to put less pressure on the lower back; change positions often by stretching or moving; and maintain proper posture while working by keeping work between elbow and shoulder level.

3.      Sleeping Posture:  When choosing a mattress, choose a firm mattress and avoid hard or sagging mattresses.  Aim to sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to keep your spine aligned.

4.      Exercise:  Aerobic exercise can strengthen your core muscles and help support your spine.  Walking, biking, and swimming can also advance spine health by improving blood flow to the spine.  To keep your back healthy, maintain a healthy weight.  You can check out your BMI here to see if you are in a healthy weight range.

5.      Emotional Stress:  Emotional stress can take its toll on your back as well.  To prevent backaches, manage stress.  Take walks, use deep breathing exercises, yoga, and/or massage to reduce stress.

By taking preventative action against back injuries, you will save yourself a lifetime of pain.  Back injuries are easy to prevent, but hard to fix.  Take preventative measures while you can!