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Taking the pain out of office work

Posted on February 2nd, 2011

Back pain? Neck pain? Headaches? How about tingling down the fingers? It’s official, you are an office worker and it’s time to change the way we think about doing work.

When an athlete or a footballer is getting ready to do hours of exercise, they warm up and warm down to make sure they don’t get injuries or cause undue strains and stresses on their bodies.

As an office worker it makes sense to do the same. After all how long do you spend in one position at your laptop, desktop, mobile and increasingly iPad? All the time you’re exerting tremendous strains on your back and neck, you may not be an elite athlete, but you are putting the same kind of effort in.

So what should you be doing?

Set up your workspace so that your posture is correct. By ensuring your keyboard is close enough to use with the upper arm vertical, and elbow against your side, the pressure is reduced on the tendons in the shoulder. Avoiding a protracted or ‘chin poked’ position unloads the small facet joints in the neck that can so often refer pain and tightness into the shoulder and upper arm, and even cause tension headaches. Are your feet supported? This reduces the pull on the lordosis or curve at the lower back

Getting this right is vital as physios spend most of their days treating avoidable RSI’s, back, neck and shoulder problems.

Make a cup of tea. Okay, not quite that simple, but staying in one position for a long period of time is not good, so getting up and having a walk around can have a huge impact in controlling and preventing the neck, back and shoulder pain that plagues so many employees.

If you want more help and advice, or you are suffering from symptoms related to your work, then please speak to us right away, so that the problem doesn’t get any worse.

Employers if you are worried about setting up your office correctly or want to reassurance for your staff, our Occupational division works with a number of companies across the North West, including ITV and Pannone.

Work-related back, neck or shoulder symptoms are all avoidable, so set up your work place correctly, treat yourself a bit more like an athlete and of course make a cup of tea!

 

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