Office Jobs Can Lead to Pain Too
The majority of the work force has a job that requires them to sit behind a desk in an office all day. Unfortunately even the “safe” office jobs come with occupational hazards; back pain, neck pain, sore wrists, etc. Sitting for too long can increase one’s risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc. and experts agree that sitting in a chair is the most stressful position for your lower back and neck. Corporate wellness is just as important as any other kind of health or wellness plan.
Since standing desks haven’t quite caught on yet, it is important that you make sure your work-space is as ergonomic as possible. Ergonomic: relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment. It is important to make sure your joints stay comfortable at work so you aren’t in pain when you get home. If your back or neck pain is worse at certain times of the day or week, like after a long day of work, your desk and posture is usually to blame. If you are ready to kick the pain to the curb, it is time for a work space makeover:
Re-Think Your Workspace
- The Chair – needs to support your natural spinal curve to avoid pain
- Push your hips and back as far as they can go in the chair
- Adjust the seat height so your feet can rest flat on the ground or get a foot rest. Don’t let your feet dangle.
- Don’t recline farther back than 100-110°
- Adjust the armrests so your shoulders are in a relaxed position
- It should have a small curve in the lumbar spine where your natural back curve is. Without this support you are left with back aches and strains. If your office provided chair isn’t supporting you correctly try a pillow, cushion, supportive add on, or balance ball.
- The Desk – height is important for good posture and minimizing pain
- Make sure there is enough space underneath for your knees, thighs and feet.
- If the desk is too low – use sturdy blocks to raise it
- If the desk is too high – raise chair and use a foot rest to support your feet
- The center of the computer screen and keyboard should be directly in front of you
- Key desk items should be within easy arms reach
- To decide where to place your monitor, sit back comfortably, extended your arm, the top of your middle finger should touch the screen.
- The top of the monitor should be 2-3” above seated eye level
- Position the computer screen to reduce glare – place at right angle to windows, get blinds or curtains, etc.
- The Keyboard – should make things easier not harder
- Keep your keyboard close and directly in front of you
- Adjust keyboard height so your shoulders are relaxed
- Should have a negative tilt meaning down and away from you
- Consider a keyboard without a number pad. Those with a number pad put the letters off center
- Consider increasing the sensitivity of your mouse so only a light touch is required
- General Posture – is extremely important and should be kept in mind at all times
- For every inch the head comes forward, the spine feels like it is supporting an extra 10 pounds
- Sitting with your legs crossed all day can lead to chronic pain
- Never perch or sit on your legs – this means you need to adjust your workstation
- Slouching means you need to bring the chair closer to the desk
- Pauses and Breaks – are necessary to stay healthy and efficient
- Take a 1-2 minute stretch break every 30 minutes or so
- Get away from your computer and desk during lunch breaks
- Rest your eyes (close for 15-20 seconds)
- Get up and move. It is important to get the blood flowing every few hours.
What Else Can I Do?
Most are surprised by how much better they feel after visiting a chiropractor and receiving just one adjustment. By realigning your spin, which has been probably been out of whack due to years of poor posture at work, can make a huge difference in pain management. Regular visits will improve all around health, the benefits extent beyond pain management. Regular exercise (walking, swimming, biking, etc.) helps you stay aerobically conditioned prevent injury and promote good posture which carries over into the work place. If you’re suffering from any kind of work related pain, visit Krieger Health Solutions. We offer a whole-body approach to chiropractic care. To learn more and begin your journey to feeling better, call us at: (770) 993-4425 or email us at: email@example.com.