80% of Australian will experience back pain in their lifetimes and the government reports that most back pain stems from inactivity at work and increasing levels of obesity. The back is a key part of our body that allows for movement and functionality in our daily lives. For some people, their back health affects their job. No matter what job we do, our back is likely to play a part in how we do it. Truck drivers use their back while sitting, as do office workers. Builders, mechanics, and farmers are using their backs consistently, all day, every day that they are at work. Therefore, back healthy and safety are prime concerns for any worker.
Whether sitting all day or constantly lifting heavy objects, our backs are at serious risk because of our occupations. Sitting too long is one of the biggest problems for workers, as is posture. Sitting for more than six hours a day has been linked to not just back pain, but conditions such as heart disease, various types of cancers, and diabetes. The government has likened sitting to be "the new smoking" because of the dangers it causes for our back's health. Posture is also a contributing factor in that twisting or keeping our spines in the same position for long periods wears it down. Fortunately, there is a solution, because the hazard of sedentary work can be fixed by introducing small but constant bits of walking around. Switching to a standing computer instead of a seated one will also help. Having a place to sleep at home with good support will help decrease any further damage done from sitting too long.
Occupational hazards exist in many jobs. In Australia, we are lucky to have medical support behind us. These occupations do exist and can continue to affect Australians. Factory and warehouse workers, manual labourers, mechanics, nurses, construction workers, and drivers are constantly bending, twisting, and arching their backs on the job. In these jobs, people are more likely to injure their back from tension, rather than suffer the after-effects from sitting too long. Maintaining good posture in these positions lessens the chances of having an on the job injury, but like is unpredictable and workers should be conscientious of what is going on around them.