Lunch Hour Overtime?

11 Jul 2012

Research finds many of us work up to 16 days for free by dining at our desks; it’s not too good for your back either! The British Chiropractic Association has some great advice.

Research carried out by Colmore Business District to coincide with the CBD Food Festival (13th-14th July) found that some people will work up to 128 hours a year, simply by not taking a lunch break and continuing to work at their desks whilst eating.

Not only are people who dine at their desks working unpaid ‘overtime’, but they may also be risking their posture and overall back health. Research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) showing that 48% of Brits currently suffer from some form of back or neck pain. Allowing our workstations to double as canteen benches, as we flit from spreadsheet to lunchbreak without moving from our seat, denies us important movement and the alternating of seating position which can be so vital in preventing back problems.

Tim Hutchful, BCA chiropractor says: “It is no surprise that people are working longer and harder than ever before, however, it is important to realise the implications of this on the health and well-being of your back after a full eight hours or more sat in the same position. Getting away from your desk at lunchtime and at regular intervals throughout your working day is vital, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes. Otherwise, a simple stretch can relieve built-up tension in your lower back after being seated for a long time. In the long run, the result is that you will ultimately feel better and be more productive for the remainder of the day.”

To help prevent the effects of back pain while at work, the BCA offers the following advice:

  • Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades touching the back rest of the chair.
  • Make sure your feet touch the floor (or use a foot rest).
  • There should be space between the front of your seat and back of your calves.
  • Your hips should be higher than your knees (tilt the seat).
  • 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; do something completely different.
  • Remove any obstacles from under your desk to ensure you have enough leg room.

Exe Chiropractic Clinic is located in central Exeter. Chiropractic is a safe, non-invasive treatment approach to musculoskeletal problems (lower back pain, neck pain, headaches). To book a consultation with a chiropractor call us on 01392 690200 or email us on We look forward to seeing you soon!

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45-47 Fore Street, Heavitree, Exeter, EX1 2QN