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From the Desk of Nichola Adams

On Office: 10 lockdown-beating tips to avert back pain

Delighted that the beautiful On Office Magazine (providing architect and design at work news) have included my article in their October Issue.

‘To mark Backcare Awareness Week, leading UK back-pain-prevention expert and Health Ergonomist Nichola Adams offers practical advice on coping with the growing challenges of working from home

Nichola Adams, a Technical Member of The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors and Founder of Inspired Ergonomics, has compiled her top 10 tips to avert back pain for this week’s Backcare Awareness Week (October 5-9) . Combining the Greek words ergon (meaning ‘work’) and nomoi (meaning ‘natural laws’), Ergonomics is the science of making products and tasks comfortable and efficient for human use. “Health Ergonomics is a multidisciplinary science. It combines biomechanics (how our bodies move), anthropometrics (our measurements) and psychology to enable us to design products and services that best match people’s physical, as well as mental, capabilities,” explains Nichola. She explains that “ergonomics recognises that we are all individuals and that there will be many external influences that affect our recovery. This includes the environment as well as social factors that affect, for instance, our attitudes towards our back pain, our stress levels and other influencing factors that can influence our levels of back pain.”’

 1. Keep moving When you do, blood flows more easily and brings nutrients and oxygen to your tissues and muscles. When sitting at your computer, standing breaks are vital. Take one every 30-60 minutes. Just standing up and siting back down will provide a beneficial boost. Take your laptop to a higher surface like a kitchen worktop or chest of drawers, then stand a while. Own a patio or garden? Work outside. Fresh air blows away brain cobwebs.  

  1. Eat well, stay hydrated Keeping the body stocked with immune-boosting, antioxidant-rich foods is key. Antioxidant foods are also anti-inflammatory. Enjoy dark fruit and leafy vegetables. Magnesium-rich foods are also good for reducing mental and physical stress. Check your vitamin D levels with a home testing kit. Keep hydrated, aiming for 7-8 glasses a day. It’s all too easy, when we’re working hard, to forget to drink enough water.  
  2. Sit up straight While moving regularly is key, sitting upright will also help reduce the load on your spine. Don’t sofa-slouch! If you only have your sofa to work from, mimic a good set-up. Build a supportive back using cushions (deep sofas cause slouching). Pop a cushion under your laptop to protect yourself against its heat and raise it up. Try an adjustable laptop holder that’s made for sofa or bed use.

You can read the full article at https://www.onofficemagazine.com/opinion/10-lockdown-tips-avert-back-pain

Nichola Adams

Founder of Inspired Ergonomics

Nichola Adams, MSc Health Ergonomics, Tech CIEHF, ACPOHE Reg Member, is the Founder of Inspired Ergonomics.

Nichola is a specialist in back pain disorders in the workplace. Inspired Ergonomics regularly provides consultancy services to leading UK and International companies on how to reduce and prevent back pain in the workplace as well as working with rehabilitation companies.

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