Healthy working- five easy tips: So as well as the screen position, what else can you do to avoid neck pain & stay ‘office healthy‘?
1. Bob Marley once said ‘Get up, Stand Up’ and nothing could be truer when it comes to preventing neck pain. One study showed the longer you sit, the more likely you are to have neck pain. Standing up frequently, whether to pop to the water cooler, chat to your colleagues or just go for a walk around- all will help.
Stand up desks are becoming popular. These often adjust between sitting and standing.
2. Don’t keep the neck too still! Avoid holding the same neck position for long periods of time. Especially if looking down. Studies have shown people who look down (we call this ‘neck flexion’) for long periods are more likely to get neck pain. It’s easy to get caught up in a document you’re reading- so remember to move frequently. Sometimes document holders can help.
3. Dead as a Dodo. The Dodo bird became extinct because it was unable to fly- it was suggested it was too slow, heavy and unfit. Don’t become the dodo- there’s lots of research that shows keeping yourself fit prevents neck pain, and has heaps of other health benefits too!
4. Don’t let work get you down! If you are stressed, or unhappy at work, you are more likely to get neck pain. Speak with your boss about changing things that don’t work for you. And try point (3) above- research shows if you do exercise or sport it’s likely you’ll be happier at work.
5. Sit. Stand. Move. Repeat. Regular movement is so important we are mentioning it again. You can have the poshest desk with the most expensive seat, and the latest computer screen. However, if you sit there all day and barely move, you’re still more likely to get neck pain, as well as other problems.
In summary: Movement is key. And if you can add in some exercise (whatever you enjoy doing, it doesn’t need to be the gym) you are minimising your risk of getting neck pain- and also gaining lots of other health benefits!
Sitting at work all day can be a real pain in the b….. ack! Literally!!
Our bodies are not designed to stay in one position for long periods of time – we need movement to keep our joints and muscles happy and prevent the build up of lactic acid.
Sitting with poor posture for long periods of time is one of the biggest factors when looking at back pain in the workplace.
Here are a few simple things you can do to minimise back pain while working:
1. The most important thing is to move regularly! It doesn’t have to be a big break – small frequent breaks from sitting is more effective than 1 long break! Try to get up at least every 30 minutes – even if its to stand up and stretch for a few seconds before sitting back down.
2. Try to do some stretches throughout the day – there are lots of stretches you can do but the main thing is to try and reverse the posture that your body had been stuck in…. for example if you are sitting with your spine bent all day – try to extend or reverse your spine as a stretch (you can lie on the floor or just stand and extend).
3. Check your chair or arrange to have an ergonomic assessment. An assessment will look at the position and support given from your chair, the position of your computer screen, mouse and keyboard, as well as the height and general layout of your work station.
If you have persistent pain or pain referring into your legs then be sure to check in with your Physio for a complete assessment.
Lets face it – shoulder pain and desk jobs go hand in hand! If you spend several hours a day working on a computer, you may unconsciously find yourself adopting poor postural habits such as hunching over your keyboard. This position is usually a sign that you have a tight chest and a weak upper back.
Over time, this type of bad body posture can contribute to you developing a rounded upper back, a condition called kyphosis, which can cause shoulder pain and upper back stiffness and pain.
In the Physio world we often see this ‘upper-crossed’ pattern of poor posture that you can see in the above picture.
So rather than getting ‘upper-tight’ (and uptight) about it – do some shoulder exercise to correct it! Stretches for the chest and upper trapezius in the upper back & neck will allow your shoulders to come back and be better centred in the joint.
Add some strengthening work for the deep neck flexors and back muscles and…. voila!!!! Better posture and less shoulder pain.
If you do continue to suffer from shoulder pain contact one of our shoulder specialists who are part of the team at Sydney Physio Solutions.