An earlier feature in our Workplace Wednesday series highlighted the issue of back pain at work and discussed the importance of prevention. One strategy that is essential in preventing injuries to our backs at work involves exercise. Many people know that exercising has important overall health benefits but may not make the connection that the physical conditioning that comes with exercise can have an important impact on preventing and managing back injuries and back pain at work.
An important part of developing a healthy back involves stabilizing the spine by strengthening the muscles in our core. The major muscles involved in stabilizing our core include our back extensors, lateral obliques (muscles along our sides) and our rectus abdominis (known as the ‘six-pack’ muscles). But just because we know that we should exercise to strengthen our backs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we know which exercises we should do. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety have a great resource for exercises that can be completed at work to help strengthen your back and prevent back injuries at work.
For more details, including step by step instructions and photograph demonstrations, visit the CCOHS website or talk to an Occupational Therapist.