Many of us are working longer and harder than ever before, but our hectic lifestyles may be having a counterproductive effort - with studies indicating that more days of work are lost to neck, back and muscle pain than any other cause.

Health on Female First

Health on Female First

Daily lifestyle practices can also leave us struggling with this extremely common ailment.

To help break the back pain cycle, try these 5 quick lunch break tips from Chiropractor Dr Steven Geanopulos:

1. You've got mail.

"Smart phones mean that we're never more than a glance away from our emails, and lunch breaks are no exception. While this is great for keeping track of your workload, long periods of neck flexion when staring down at a phone or tablet screen can lead to a stiff and aching neck, as the human body isn't designed to hold this position for long periods.

Try to keep lunch breaks an email free zone to give your hard working muscles - and mind - a rest."

2. Step to it.

"It may feel difficult to take time to get away from your desk, but a 10 minute stroll to the local shops could be a crucial step to keeping back pain at bay.

Lack of movement can lead to weakening of the muscles which support the back and degeneration of joints. Walking is not only good for the back, but recent research has indicated that just 20 minutes of brisk walking each day can have widespread health benefits - potentially even increasing life expectancy."

3. Mind over matter.

"Prolonged stress can lead to exacerbations of pain due to the release of the hormone cortisol and increases in muscle tension. To reduce the pressure, try taking 10-15 minutes each day to practice mindfulness or meditation in a quiet environment (perhaps the local park, a quiet coffee shop or staff area).

Mental stresses are often best dealt with by addressing state of mind, and periods of quiet reflection can help with this."

4. Take ten.

"A recent study has suggested that an innovative, portable device called Kyrobak ( - which delivers a combination of Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) and Oscillation Therapy (OT) to the lower back - significantly reduced pain scores in sufferers of long term non-specific lower back pain.

These benefits were evident following only 10 minutes use 1-3 times per day for 3 weeks. The soothing, rocking motion helps to relieve pressure and loosen muscles, providing targeted relief - wherever you are."

5. Eat well.

"Being overweight places additional strain on the lower back & poor nutritional choices can contribute to exacerbations of inflammation, so maintaining a healthy diet is key.

Skipping lunch is likely to have a detrimental effect on your stress and energy levels and can also leave you more likely to make unhealthier choices later on the day - so it's important to make time for a healthy, balanced meal at lunchtime."