Back pain, strain or injury can happen when you least expect it — bending, lifting, twisting the wrong way, sitting hunched at a computer or even stepping out of your vehicle after a long day of driving.

More than 80 per cent of Canadians experience back pain sometime in their lives; the majority as a result of what they do for a living. From physical labour, like construction and painting, to office work and truck driving, employees in almost every industry are at risk for back pain, strain or injury.

“People who perform physical labour for a living find that a great deal of their day-to-day tasks involve using the muscles in their back. Improper lifting or moving the wrong way can easily lead to back strain or injury,” says Dr. Clark Mills, president of the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors. ”If that strain or injury isn’t managed or treated quickly it can lead to serious pain and the inability to perform regular everyday activities.”

Sitting in a chair that doesn’t provide proper back support or hunching over a keyboard can cause back strain and long-term back problems. Position your chair, keyboard and computer monitor at optimal settings for your height and working style.

If you find your job contains risk factors, consider ways to reduce your risk.

“Sometimes it’s a matter of modifying tasks, like changing the way you bend to lift, or taking more frequent states Dr. Mills.