Back Pain At Work: How To Fix It

Many people suffer from back pain at work, this is particularly the case for employees with a sedentary position. What are the causes of these back pain? How to avoid and mitigate them? Which address ?

Causes of back pain

Usually back pain is caused by:

  • The stress
  • Bad postures
  • Inappropriate gestures

Obligation to ensure the health of employees

According to article L. 4121-1 of the Labor Code, the employer must protect the health and safety of his employees. He must establish a risk assessment , inform and implement preventive actions, as well as study and solve any problem of which he is informed.


Postures and gestures to adopt

It is important to stand correctly and do certain exercises to avoid back pain:

  • Keep your neck straight
  • Relax the shoulders
  • Have the forearms almost horizontal, in line with the shoulders
  • Keep your back straight and wedge your bottom well
  • Have your hands at the same height as your elbows
  • Uncross your legs and place them on the floor or on a footrest
  • Get up regularly
  • Stretch
  • Engage in physical activity outside of work

Contact the management, the occupational physician, the CHSCT

In the event of too significant ailments , requiring the intervention of others to find a solution, employees can speak directly to their management.

In companies with at least 50 employees, employees can contact the Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee (CHSCT), which can contact an expert (who will be paid by the company) registered with the Ministry of Labour.

For companies with less than 50 employees, employees can call on the staff representative or the occupational physician (Article R4624-18 of the Labor Code)


It is possible to opt for sit-stand work , organize the work differently (if the source of the ailments is stress for example), buy the appropriate equipment or which will improve working conditions …

In addition, the occupational physician can also carry out an ergonomic study of the workstation and suggest measures to be taken such as the transformation of the workstation, for example.

Obesity And Overweight: Causes Of Discrimination At Work

Overweight and obesity are the 5 th highest risk of death worldwide and killed at least 2.8 million lives each year. The proportion of people affected has been steadily increasing in recent years. Obesity and overweight are among the main criteria for discrimination at work, after age.

A report by the defender of rights and the International Labor Organization , concerning physical discrimination (physical appearance and dress) in hiring was published on February 15, 2016. Among the 1000 job seekers, aged 18 to 65 years, who were interviewed: 6% of men and 10% of women say they have experienced discrimination related to their physical appearance in obtaining a job. Appearance, an atypical dress style or body size would influence the recruiter’s choice.

Women: the most discriminated against

Women suffer twice as much discrimination in hiring because of their physical appearance than men (regardless of their age, weight, style, level of education, etc.).

Obese women are said to be discriminated against eight times more than women with a normal body mass index. For overweight women, four times more. For obese men, three times more.

Current situation

In France, the law of November 16, 2001 prohibits all forms of discrimination (physical, age, family situation, ethnicity, etc.) in the professional world.

Despite this, prejudices about obesity persist and what is put forward by society (the cult of thinness for example) continues to influence decisions during recruitment. For some people obesity means lack of drive, ineffectiveness, laziness, lack of willpower, faster burnout, or they may just be disgusted.

In addition, the vision of certain professions remains stereotypical (assistant, receptionist, salesperson, bouncer, etc.). As a result, corpulent people have more difficulty finding a position requiring direct contact with people outside the establishment.

Consequences of this discrimination

Unfortunately, this discrimination can last even after hiring (underqualified positions, fewer promotions than others, relationship difficulties, more frequent breaches of contract, no professional development, etc.). And above all, it can lead the people concerned to make decisions that endanger their health (serious psychological and physical consequences) or allow them to manage their life without being confronted with the professional world.