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0222041FV April 2005

As we go back to work, the British Chiropractic Association
launches Chiropractic Awareness Week

The modern office practice of ‘hot-desking’ could be adding to an “epidemic of back pain”, it has been revealed. The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has joined forces with Targus, leading supplier of mobile computing cases, to conduct the research showing that a third of office workers make no adjustments to either seating or computer equipment when switching desks. The same percentage of office workers say they currently suffer back pain – and experts believe there may be a link.

A survey of 1,674 adults identified two other problem areas – sitting too long without a break and carrying heavy computer bags to work. When asked what was the longest period they had sat at a computer without a break, most people – over 30 per cent – said between three and five hours. In addition, over 10 per cent of workers carry a laptop – and many struggle into the office weighed down with paperwork, items to post and desk diaries.

Tim Hutchful from British Chiropractic Association comments: “Whether at work or at home, computers have begun to dominate our lives, yet what we don’t realise is that they in fact have the ability to damage our health. The nation is suffering from an epidemic of back pain and our working lives could be contributing to this. By taking time to adjust your chair and by taking regular breaks can help protect your spine and prevent the onslaught of back pain”.

BCA and Targus undertook the research to coincide with the launch of Chiropractic Awareness Week, which begins today Monday 18th April. The week focuses on all the ‘triggers’ of back pain, including ‘PC posture’, and highlights the range of treatment available. Today’s theme of ‘Back to Work’ aims to make people think about their actions in their daily routines, from how they sit at their computer to what they carry to and from the office.

The BCA survey also reveals that almost 50 per cent of office workers feel their current chair does not provide adequate back support and 45 per cent of employees said their boss had a “higher quality” chair.

To help protect our backs at work, the British Chiropractic Association has offered some useful tips for us to keep in mind at the start of each working week:
· Make time to check your bag/briefcase each day for items you won’t need. Additional weight in your bag is extra weight that your shoulders and back have to bear.
· Use a rucksack design laptop case, carry it on both shoulders and adjust the straps so that the bag is held close to your back.
· Take the time to adjust your chair when you start working at a new location.
· Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent to 90° but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the centre of the computer screen.
· Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back and your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair.
· Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
· Take regular breaks. Never sit at the computer for more than 40 minutes; less if possible. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little.

To find out more information about the BCA please visit
www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk or call 0118 950 5950
- ends-

BCA Press Enquiries: Julie Doyle/Susie Gammell/Liz Harding,
icas public relations
Tel: 020 7632 2400, Fax: 020 7240 2520
Email: jdoyle@icas.co.uk, lharding@icas.co.uk

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