Regular movement and exercise are the best ways for employees who sit at their desk all day to avoid back problems, an osteopath association says.

People should walk around their office regularly and have some fresh air and a stroll at lunch time, according to the British Osteopathic Association (BOA).

A survey by the US National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recently found these treatments are often used for back and neck pain.

Kelston Chorley, osteopath and head of professional development at the BOA, said people who work for a big company could ask for small exercise classes to be run.

"One of the things I tell all my patients to do at the end of the day is just to lay on the bedroom floor and bring their knees to their chest," he added.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, sickness absence in the public sector cost £906 per employee in 2007.