By Colleen Gest, PT, DPT
Are you experiencing headaches, back or neck pain at work? Long hours in front of computers are becoming more common in today’s workplaces. Prolonged poor postures lead to cumulative stresses on body structures, resulting in headaches and back, neck, shoulder and wrist pain. Proper workstation set-up, good sitting posture, and frequent breaks are all important in avoiding workplace musculoskeletal injuries.
Following are a few tips for keeping your body in top shape at work:
- Place your computer: Place the computer monitor at or just below eye level, directly in front of you. The keyboard and mouse should be in front of you with the wrists in a relaxed position. Do not rest on the wrist rest unless you are taking a break from keying.
- Sit Well: Sit with the hips and knees bent at a ninety degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. Sit upright in your chair with the low back and shoulders against the backrest. The natural lumbar curve of the back should be supported by your office chair or a small towel roll. Adjust your armrests so your shoulders can relax while typing.
- Take Breaks: Take frequent breaks at least twice hourly for stretching, or to stand and change your position.
While these changes help decrease the potential for injuries, stretching and strengthening exercises are essential to counteract the effects of prolonged positioning.
For more information on ergonomics, stretching, or strengthening specific to avoiding workplace musculoskeletal injuries, contact CoreBalance Therapy at 556-9935.