How is that office chair you’re sitting on? Is it comfortable? Cushiony? Top-of-the-line? Unfortunately, none of that matters if you’re slouching in it right now. There’s even a good chance that your chair, as comfortable as it is, is going to cause you back pain some day soon. In order to practice proper posture and to ensure your daily activities aren’t leading you down the road to pain, every part of your desk setup needs to support you. If you’re starting to feel aches and pains at the office, here’s how to fix it.
To Prevent Lower Back Pain & Strain
Have you ever noticed that the longer you sit at your desk, the more your back starts to slouch? We all do it, however, that’s a major cause for lower back pain. If you find yourself slouching a lot, there’s a chance your lower back is not being supported. Fortunately, your chair can easily be adjusted. With the lever, set the height of the chair so that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle when placed on top of your workstation or keyboard. You should be sitting completely on the chair with your lower back fully resting on the back of the chair.
To Prevent Shoulder Pain
Too much strain on your upper spine can cause a burning-numbing sensation in your shoulders. There are two major causes for this, and both are easily fixed. First of all, ensure that your computer screen is at eye level. If you have to constantly bow your head to do your work, then your screen is too low. Resist the temptation to adjust your chair. Lift the screen instead using an elevated mount or even a stack of books. You will know when the screen is at the right height when you’re looking straight ahead.
Gravity is the second reason for your shoulder pain. With arms constantly elevated in front of you, your elbows will start to feel heavy and pull you down, which is also another reason for your slouching. Adjust your arm rests just enough so that your elbows are resting gently at the 90 degree angle. Your shoulders and neck will thank you.
To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
As your wrists start to swell up, ache, and send tingling sensations up and down your arm, your work productivity will begin to suffer. If you’ve reached this point, you’re likely experiencing something called carpal tunnel syndrome, which is pressure on the median nerve inside your carpal tunnel that is caused by excessive or repetitive wrist movement. The main culprit of office carpal tunnel syndrome is the unnatural positioning of your hands as you type and scroll with your mouse. If your wrists are sensitive to swelling, request to have an ergonomic mouse and keyboard installed at your workstation, which will allow your wrists to sit more naturally at a slightly outturned angle.
Get Up & Move
Historically speaking, the human race has never been more sedentary. Up until the last century, we have had to constantly move to make money, source our food, and travel from place to place. But as jobs became physically less demanding and life grew easier, our bodies started to bear the brunt of the new way of life. In other words, our bodies aren’t designed to sit down for long periods of time. If your job forces you at a desk for eight hours day, try to spend 10 minutes of each hour standing, walking, stretching and moving. Taking these small little breaks may seem useless, but they’re just enough to combat muscle and joint strain.
If you feel aches and pains from your office workstation, contact Pro Care Physiotherapy today. We will work with you to alleviate your pain and to help you adjust your office space to prevent further injury.