Back PainLooking after your body in the office.
Recently we seem to have had lots of patients raising issues with regards to the office environment. On occasion patients don’t seem to realise the stress an office environment places on the body!
If you are someone that spends all day at a desk and surfing on a tablet at home, it’s the body that picks up the tab. It really is a full assault from all angles; the neck, shoulders, low back pain, wrist pain and even hip pain and eye strain. We know that a poor work environment i.e. chair to low, hunching over the keyboard whilst looking up to the screen is bad.
What can we do to counterbalance the affects of our work life and its effects on our body?
Although I treat a vast array of people in many trades and jobs, athletes and quite a few celebrities the major reason for coming to the clinic is down to posture and the working environment, it’s the activity we do for long periods.
The body becomes good at what you train it to do so if you spend many hours hunched over, that will be what it becomes good at. If you run 5 miles 5 times a week then you’re probably a decent runner, however this wouldn’t make you good at say lifting a baby. What I’m trying to say is prepare yourself for the job at hand; being fit – flexible, mobile and strong allows you to carry out most daily activities, throw in a few exercises to assist in managing tension build up and your body will be happy.
So what’s the plan?
Firstly get a DSE assessment (display screen equipment) and don’t be happy with just ticking the boxes on the internet form, try and understand the what, why and how your work station affects your body. It should cover the desk, chair and computer set up.
Clear the clutter on your desk and make it user friendly.
Have everything you use regularly at hand and not requiring a contortionist reach or twist to get hold of.
Whether you are active or exercise you have to consider what you need to do to improve your body’s ability to handle those long periods.
Implement these five steps at work;
1) Walk don’t email, if you need to say something or communicate to someone in the office go to them and talk. “It’s good to talk and it gets you moving”.
2) Use the stairs: get those legs moving and heart pumping, time yourself and chart your improvements.
3) If you are on the phone and it’s going to be a long conversation, get up and walk around your office.
4) Do not stay in the same position for hours, have a series of exercises that don’t take long, relativley easy and you can do whilst sat at your desk to help keep limbs loose, you may look a little odd in the office but pain free is definitely a better option.
5) Use your breaks to get some fresh air and get rid of any build up of tension, it can also help clear the mind, don’t stress over poor weather just wrap up accordingly.
So there we have it, look out for the video I put together!