Which Is The Best Back Support Belt For Construction Workers?
Construction work is tough and sometimes painful. So give your back the help and support it needs on site by wearing a back support belt.
Belts are just handy aren't they?
I mean they stop your trousers from falling down for starters.
Yet it never ceases to amaze me how many tradesmen have yet to cotton on to this benefit.
In fact I've lost count of the number of hairy bum cleavages I've had staring me in the face on site.
So much so I could probably just as easily identify the plumbers I know from their backsides as from their faces!
So if you're reading this and think you may be a culprit yourself, then please for the love of god buy yourself a cheap belt.
Your fellow tradies will love you for it!
But while normal belts serve their purpose in society (if not always on site), you can also buy other types of belts that will do much more than just hold your trousers up.
And a good example of this are back support belts.
Now you have only seen these being worn by the meathead lifting twice his own bodyweight at the gym, but they are also a great investment for anyone working on a construction site.
Because wearing one of these belts will assist your core muscles to support and stabilise your spine as you work.
Which will help to keep you protected and free from muscle aches and strains.
So they are a great idea for anyone whose job involves heavy lifting or physical labor.
If that sounds like you then read on, because in this round-up I'll review the following belts to help you to find the right one that suits your needs.
Why Back Support Belts Are A Great Idea for Construction Workers
We have it tough in the construction industry.
Not only do we have to spend long hours working hard physically in all weathers and conditions.
Years of performing repetitive tasks, heavy lifting, twisting and turning can seriously damage our backs.
For instance, official government figures of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Great Britain in 2015 found that the highest rate of workers to suffer from chronic back pain were in the construction and agricultural industries.
And on average there were more than twice as many people suffering from chronic back pain in skilled trades in the construction industry than the average across ALL other industries.
Twice as many. Ouch!
This leads to more days off work due to having a bad back.
And if you are self-employed like me you'll know this can seriously affect your potential income.
Which can be even more painful than the pain in your back!
So with this in mind we need to do all we can to keep our backs strong and healthy.
And this is where a wearing a back support belt can be a big help.
How Does A Back Support Belt Work?
The theory behind wearing a back support belt is exactly as the name suggests to provide support for your lower back.
However it actually works by compressing your abdomen rather than your back.
The idea is that by holding the stomach in with the belt and increasing the pressure on the abdomen you are increasing the support and lowering the load on your lower back.
This theory originated in Canada in the 1950s and uses the visual example of the abdominal area as a balloon that inflates when it is compressed to explain the process.
So when you bend down to lift things your abdomen is squeezed and the inflating 'balloon' pushes outwards.
Which leaves your spine to take the full burden of the lift.
However if you activate your deep-lying core muscles as you bend and lift this balloon is forced upwards rather than outwards.
Where it provides support for your spine by making it more rigid.
And wearing a back support belt can also provide the same result.
As by squeezing your abdomen it forces the 'balloon' upwards which lowers the load on your back as you work.
And in addition to this back support belts also limit your range of motion as you twist and bend which lowers the risk of overstretching.
So it makes sense to wear one while lifting heavy objects or getting stuck into some heavy labour.
What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Back Support Belt At Work?
There are many ways wearing a back support belt will help you on site such as:
- Providing assistance to your core muscles by reducing the load on your lower back and keeping it supported.
- Helping you to maintain a good posture while you work. This can also train you to maintain a good posture even when you're not wearing the belt.
- Encouraging you to keep to a safe lifting technique.
- Preventing injuries and aggravation for your back by reducing the strain put upon it.
- Keeping you active (and working) during periods where your chronic back pain intensifies. Being able to stay active will also help your pain in the long run.
- Back support belts that also provide heat will help to keep your lower back muscles and joints warm and loose as you work.
The Dangers Of Wearing A Back Support Belt
While back support belts are a big help they are not a miracle cure.
And they won't make you invincible on site!
So be aware of the following to make sure you get the full benefits from wearing one:
- Over-reliance on a back support belt will cause your core and abdominal muscles to weaken over time, so it's vital that you only use a belt during heavy activities when you really need it. Don't wear it all the time.
- It's also vital that you stay active outside work and get regular exercise that strengthen your core muscles such as swimming, yoga, pilates and walking.
- Wearing the belt can sometimes make you over-confident about what you're capable of lifting so don't become another statistic by overdoing it!
- You also need to make sure you are still using safe lifting techniques while wearing the belt to prevent any injuries. It's just a belt, it doesn't turn you into Superman.
- Be careful if you already have high blood pressure as the increased pressure on the abdomen that the belt creates can lead to a further increase in blood pressure which can heighten the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
The Best Back Support Belts For Work
Back support belts come in various designs to suit different purposes.
This means you can usually find one to suit your specific needs but you need to shop around a bit to find the right one.
So whether your day involves heavy lifting, constant movement, bending, twisting, driving or sitting, one of the following belts should help to get you through your workday unscathed.
>> Back On Site Top Choice <<
Aidbrace Back Brace Support Belt
- Industrial strength.
- Made with thick and durable material so built to last.
- Breathable vented mesh backing to keep you cool.
- Velcro side straps so you can adjust it to the tension you want.
- Comes with bonus shoulder straps that can be added to provide extra stability.
- Can be worn comfortably for long periods.
- Curved design at the sides for extra comfort.
- May be too bulky under certain clothes.
- Other belts may be more comfortable if you move around a lot during the day.
- One of the best on the market for providing strong support for your lower back.
- Concentrates compression to realign the spine as well as support it.
- Great support for people that do lots of heavy lifting.
The Aidbrace Back Support Belt is an excellent choice if you are looking for maximum support for your lower back.
It covers a larger area of your lower torso than other belts but compression remains concentrated on the areas where you need it.
This make's it great for maintaining a healthy posture.
And the breathable mesh design keeps you cool as you work.
Which means that the belt remains comfortable to wear for long periods so it's a great option for those working long shifts.
It's also made of high quality materials that will last for a long time and be able to withstand regular use on site.
However the fact that it is so sturdily made means that it's bulkier than other belts so you may not be able to wear it underneath your work clothes.
Also the stronger support means there you don't get as much flexiblity and freedom as in other belts.
So if you have a job that involves more bending, twisting and moving around then this may pose a problem.
However having said that this is a terrific belt if your job involves heavy lifting.
So for furniture removal men, warehouse workers, hod carriers, etc this belt is a great choice.
Pros and Cons
- Provides strong support.
- Made of high quality materials that are thick, durable, long-lasting and great for heavy use.
- Excellent choice for people in jobs that involve heavy lifting.
- Breathable mesh backing keeps it cool and comfortable so you can wear it for long periods.
- Strong support means this is great for improving posture over time.
- This belt may be overkill if you don't do any heavy lifting.
- Not the best choice for driving as it tends to ride up when seated.
- Bulkier than other belts which makes it less suitable for wearing under clothing (you need a loose fitting overshirt).
- There are more comfortable belts if your job involves a lot of moving around.
Overall Back On Site rating: 4.6/5
Maxar Deluxe Work Belt
- Industrial strength and designed with the work market in mind.
- 6 spring metal stays for added support.
- 2 additional side pulls for better fitting and tension adjustment.
- 8" wide extra strong breathable double mesh.
- Detachable suspenders for extra stability.
- Additional side pulls means you can adjust the pressure and tightness to your liking.
- Narrow straps at the side to make the belt more comfortable to wear.
- Velcro straps means it holds in position well.
- Provides industrial strength support to the lumbar area.
- Metal stays provide increased stability.
- Great for heavy lifting.
The Maxar Deluxe Work Belt is an industrial strength belt that is designed especially for the manual work market.
As it's equipped with 6 metal stays to provide extra stability and support to your lower back.
The two additional side pulls mean you can adjust the tension and fit to your own needs.
And the strong support that this provides helps you to keep the correct posture when attempting to lift heavy loads.
The design of the belt also makes it comfortable to wear.
With a breathable mesh that keeps it cool and prevents excessive sweating.
Also the narrow side straps prevent the belt from digging into your sides during prolonged use.
And it's a good fitting belt which holds positions well as you work.
This belt is also a good choice for people with long-standing back problems.
As the strong support is a great help if you are trying to ease yourself back into work after back surgery or injury.
But as with the Aidbrace belt, the extra focus on support and sturdiness may mean it's not the best choice if your job involves more movement than lifting.
And while the belt is very well made, it can stretch over time so may need replacing every so often if used heavily.
All in all though this is one of the best industrial back support belts on the market.
And it's great for any workers whose jobs involve heavy lifting, yard work or moving heavy objects.
Pros and Cons
- Made in The United States from high quality materials.
- Designed for the manual work market.
- Provides industrial strength support.
- Great for heavy lifting and moving heavy objects.
- Provides good support for people with long-standing back conditions.
- Breathable mesh design prevents over-heating.
- Designed more for heavy use rather than movement.
- It's durable but can stretch out over time when used regularly.
- Detachable suspenders not really much use for many people.
Overall Back On Site rating: 4.5/5
Mueller Adjustable Back Brace
- Removable lumbar pads.
- 8 flexible steel supports along the spine.
- 2 adjustable tension straps
- Internal molded plastic component to stop the belt from bunching.
- Adjustable tension straps means you can adjust the pressure and tightness to your liking.
- Promotes freedom of movement.
- Removable lumbar pads allow you to make the belt less constrictive.
- Covers a large area of your lumbar which may not be comfortable for all.
- Provides medium level of support to the lumbar area.
- Not the best option for heavy duty workloads.
The Mueller Adjustable Back Brace is one of the most versatile belts on the market as it comes with removable lumbar pads.
This means you can choose whether you want to optimise it for support or for freedom of movement by simply adding or removing these lumbar supports.
So when you need the extra support (ie when lifting) you can leave them in.
However if you are doing more moving around you can simply remove them to give yourself more freedom of movement.
This also makes the belt more comfortable when sitting which makes it a decent choice for delivery drivers.
However while it's not as supportive ass the first two belts on this list, you can still find a decent level of support with this one.
As it is reinforced with 8 flexible steel supports along the spine that offer a medium level of support for your lower back.
This belt is comfortable too being made of a lightweight and breathable material.
And the adjustable inner and outer bands make sure it's a snug fit while the internal molded plastic component is there to stop it rolling or bunching.
However it is a large belt that covers a broad area of your lumbar region which some people might not like.
And the slight lack of support compared to others means that if your job involves lots of heavy lifting and heavy duty work then you may need to look elsewhere.
However for those that need to move around throughout the day and get involved with light lifting and labour tasks the Mueller adjustable belt is a great choice.
Pros and Cons
- Extremely versatile belt combining support with freedom of movement.
- Removable lumbar pads is a good feature that is not seen on many other belts.
- Made from a lightweight and breathable material.
- Good for keeping you active and moving.
- Removable pads make it less constricting and a good option for driving.
- May not provide enough support for heavy duty work.
- It covers a large area of your lumbar which may not be comfortable for all.
- May be too bulky to wear underneath your clothes.
Overall Back On Site rating: 4.5/5
BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace
- Comes with dual adjustment straps.
- Includes 8 plastic stays for extra support.
- Breathable mesh panels to reduce heat.
- Curved design to avoid slipping.
- Dual adjustment straps means you can adjust the pressure and tightness to your liking.
- Not as bulky as other belts.
- Curved design to ensure a snug fit.
- Breathable mesh not as effective as other belts.
- Offers a medium level of support which may not be enough for some.
- Trade off between support and freedom of movement.
The BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace is designed to permit a good range of movement and comfort as well as providing support.
And it's a good budget option if you want a no frills back support belt at a good price.
It's equipped with 8 plastic stays to provide extra lumbar support.
However the level of support remains at a medium level which means it may not be strong enough for people that do lots of heavy lifting.
But what it lacks in support it makes up for in freedom of movement.
As the curved design means that you can get a snug fit that doesn't move out of place even when you are on the move all day.
And it holds position well when seated too so can be a good belt for those who drive or sit for long periods during the day too.
It's also a comfortable belt to wear.
As it's lighter and less bulky than other belts which makes it easier to wear under your clothes.
Also the breathable mesh keeps it cool and prevent excessive heat and sweating as you work.
However while the intentions of the mesh are good it's not as high a quality or as effective as the mesh on other belts.
Also the upper band on this belt is fairly stiff meaning that for some body types there might be some digging into the ribs after prolonged use and especially when seated.
Overall though this belt is a more than decent and inexpensive option for many manual workers.
And while it doesn't provide the level of support necessary for people in trades involving heavy lifting, it is still a good choice for other trades where more movement and lighter lifting is involved.
Pros and Cons
- Less restrictive than other belts allowing more movement.
- Curved design ensures a snug fit and less slipping.
- Can be comfortable when seated too.
- Lighter and less bulky than other belts.
- Not enough support for people doing heavy lifting.
- Breathable mesh not the most effective.
- Stiff upper band may dig into ribs for certain body types.
Overall Back On Site rating: 4/5
And Overall The Best Back Support Belt For Work Is....
That's a difficult question to answer.
Because each belt in this list serves a slightly different purpose.
I've listed the Aidbrace Back Support Belt as my top choice as it has the best level of support for the price.
However you need to take a horses for courses approach and decide which one suits you best.
And this depends on how bad your pain is and which type of activities you are involved in during your workday.
So I'd go with the following as a guideline:
- Best back brace for support: The Aidbrace Back Support Belt and the Maxar Deluxe Work Belt are the best here. Both are made to an industrial strength level of support and are great choices if your day involves heavy lifting or heavy duty labour.
- Best back brace for movement: Both the Mueller Adjustable Back Brace and the BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace are good choices if your day involves plenty of moving around and light lifting.
- Best back brace for sitting/driving: The removable lumbar pads in the Mueller Adjustable Back Brace allows for more comfort when seated and makes it the best option for this purpose.
- Best option for those on a budget: The BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace is a great value budget option.
However whichever belt you decide to go for just remember that it is for assistance only.
So make sure you are also keeping your back and core muscles strong outside of work too to gain the full benefit.
And on a final note one of the biggest bugbears with buying a back support belt is getting the right size.
As some makes come up smaller than expected while others come up much larger.
So before you order yours just have a quick read through the size guide and measurements to make sure yours will fit you.
Here's to a happier and less painful workday with your new back support belt!