Many of us spend a lot of time at our desks, whether this is working in the office or working from home.
For a few of us this is an entirely pain free experience, but for a lot of us it brings aches and pains in our lower back, upper back or neck and can also lead to headaches.
In addition it can also put a strain on our arms causing pain in our wrists and elbow, and sometimes conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
‘ Two fifths of workers (40%) who spend the majority of their time at work sitting don’t feel like they are able to take regular breaks, with only 6% reporting they are actively encouraged to. This is in spite of almost half (45%) of people who have experienced back or neck pain identifying sitting for long periods of time as a trigger for their condition.’
What can you do to prevent desk related injuries?
Here are my top 8 tips.
Set up your desk correctly to avoid injury
If your desk is not set up correctly then it can lead to a lot of excess strain on the joints of your neck and upper back and cause pain in the wrist and arms as well. If your workplace offers a desk assessment then ask them to assess yours. Or you can watch the video below in which I run through the basics of a good desk setup.
2. Avoiding desk related injury when hot-desking
If you are hot-desking please make sure that you spend 5 minutes every morning to set up your desk to your needs, and not just keep it at the settings from the person who used it before you. Simply watch the video above – it can be done in just a few minutes.
3. Make sure your desk set up at home is as good as your desk set up at work!
This is particularly important if you work from home a lot. Make sure you either have a docking station for your laptop and a screen or a separate keyboard and mouse with your laptop on a riser. This is the method I use when I am in clinic and then I have the same set up at home. This makes sure I always have a good posture when I am using my laptop!
4. Never use your laptop on your lap
That’s it for this tip, short and sweet!
5. Take regular breaks from your desk
Sitting still for long periods of time is not good for you. It has a detrimental effect not only on your muscles and joints, but on your general health as well. Aim to get up and move around every 20 minutes. You don’t have to leave your desk for long, 5 minutes will help to loosen up your muscles and joints.
6. Stretch at your desk
Gentle stretching can help loosen tight muscles.
7. Take a lunch break!
Get out of the office and away from the desk. This will help to relax your mind and body.
8. Do not ignore aches and pains
If you are consistently having aches and pains for more than 2 weeks, then it is a good idea to have it assessed by a medical professional such as a chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist, or your G.P.
I offer a Free Chiro Chat in which you can talk to me about your problem to see if I can help you.
I hope you have found those tips helpful.
If you have questions, as always, feel free to get in touch by placing your question in the comments below this blog.
Alternatively, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.