4 Tips Chiropractic Patients Can Use While Working At A Desk (or kitchen table if you are working from home)
There are dangers in everyday life, from slipping in the shower to tripping on a curb. The risk doesn't end once we are safely behind our desks, because… sitting is killing us! (Not really, but it is a bit challenge). We spend hours each day sitting, typing, staring at the computer screen, and this inactivity is wreaking havoc on our health in a variety of ways.
First, most of us sit incorrectly.
Finding the right chair can be a challenge. And much like shopping for a bed finding the right chair can be a bit of a trial and error process. Most of us cause excess stress and pressure on our neck, shoulders, and back from the way we sit in our inadequate office chairs.
According to occupational health and safety guidelines, a person who spends time at their computer needs to choose an adjustable chair that supports the back, buttocks, legs and arms. Be mindful of your posture throughout the day as well. An ergonomically adjusted chair minimizes the occurrences of awkward, strained positions that frequently cause injury. Some important considerations are:
• The depth of the seat pan. The pan should be deep enough so that you have support for your thighs but not so deep that your feet cant comfortably touch the floor.
• Lumbar support. It is essential to help you maintain a neutral, low back when you sit.
• Back height. If it is too low, it can be uncomfortable on your neck and mid-back, and if it is too high, it can push your head forward and irritate your neck.
Along with the way we sit, our office jobs are challenging us because…
We have our desks laid out incorrectly.
Even with a great chair, a desk that is the wrong height can cause a person to repetitively move and bend awkwardly during the day and injure themselves. Anyone who sits behind a desk needs to make sure it is the right height to comfortably reach the computer keyboard, and all pertinent supplies are within a comfortable reach. Add a footrest to decrease the stress on the lower back. Ergonomically positioning a desk offers greater comfort and less emphasis on a person's body.
We also type incorrectly.
Misusing the keyboard can cause a ton of painful medical conditions from neck and back issues to carpal tunnel syndrome. The keyboard should sit at elbow height. Reduce the strain on your hands by keeping them in as natural a position as possible, holding your wrists up even with the backs of your hands. Avoid banging the keys by typing softly, which alleviates the stress on your fingers.
A computer mouse should be situated close to the keyboard, and it's essential to keep the hand in a neutral position when using it. Avoid resting your hand on the mouse for an extended period of time.
Not taking breaks
According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting for long periods of time is linked to a variety of serious medical conditions, from obesity to high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Sitting in the same position for hours can put pressure on and result in back and neck pain.
Break up sitting every 20 minutes by standing and walking around and stretching if possible. Even standing for a couple of minutes at a time lessens the impact of a sedentary job.
Get some help when you need it.
In addition to taking the initiative to build an ergonomic office space, choosing to participate in chiropractic care is a great way to help minimize pain from back, shoulder, and neck strain. Chiropractic treatment involves adjusting the spine, along with other techniques, offering better alignment and movement in particular and a stronger, healthier body in general. A long-term benefit of chiropractic care is a body that enjoys greater mobility and fewer aches and pains.
Ergonomic office setup is critical in maintaining good posture that minimizes strain and repetitive motion injuries. By investing in ergonomically tailored furniture and setting it up to suit your specific needs, you will lessen the harm an office job does to your body.
If you or a co-worker suffer from symptoms related to an improperly positioned workstation, give us a call. Our Doctor of Chiropractic can help get the symptoms under control as well as guide you toward a healthier spine and working environment.