You might think that working at a desk would protect you from back injuries. However, people who work many kinds of jobs, from physical manual labor to sedentary office positions, are at risk for work-related back pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, while making repetitive movements and exerting too much force on your back can lead to back injuries, another possible cause of pain is inactivity while sitting at a desk.
Your muscles need exercise in order to stay strong and function properly. If you spend a lot of time sitting, your muscles may not get enough exercise, and back pain can result. Sitting in a chair with inadequate support or assuming poor posture could also exacerbate the problem.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent back injuries at work regardless of what kind of work you do. All sorts of jobs require repetitive tasks, which are a major cause of the microtrauma that can result in work-related injuries. You can alternate less physically demanding tasks with more demanding ones to give your muscles a chance to rest and recover. There may be devices you can use to help you modify your activity, such as ergonomic keyboards or assistive lifting devices. You can learn proper posture and pay attention to it when sitting, standing, walking, lifting, etc. If your job requires heavy lifting, you can learn proper techniques that involve your core muscles and your legs rather than the muscles of your back.
Perhaps more than anything else, you should listen to your body and use pain as a guide. If you experience discomfort, modify your activity accordingly. That may mean resting from manual labor or getting up to move if you have been inactive at a desk for a long period.