Our bodies are not designed for a sedentary lifestyle, and they certainly weren't designed for sitting at a desk eight hours a day, five days a week. Headaches, back pain, RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome are all examples of musculoskeletal disorders that are almost always due to prolonged periods of sitting at a computer.
These commonplace injuries aren’t just a pain for you; they’re also a pain for your employer. According to HSE, last year in the UK, the total number of working days lost due to musculoskeletal disorders was 9.5 million, with an average of 17 days per case!
But what can you do to protect yourself from developing these types of injuries? Here are our 10 top tips for staying pain free at work…
1. Make sure the top 1/3 of your screen is at eye level
2. Keep both feet planted on the floor
3. Keep your knees below your hips
4. Don't curl your tailbone under –sitting tall so your tailbone is not tucked up is a position that ensures minimal stress on muscles, ligaments and joints of the lumbar spine.
5. Keep wrists relaxed and straight when using your keyboard and mouse
6. On the phone all day? Use a headpiece – Spending half the day typing with a phone balanced between your ear and shoulder can wreak havoc on your neck, leading to imbalances in neck musculature and headaches.
7. Move around! – Try to take a small, regular breaks every 30 minutes or so.
8. Stretch your hamstrings, wrists and pectorals at your desk
9. Don't eat lunch at your desk
10. Manual therapy
That last one is very important. Make sure you address aches and pains, rather than ignore them. Musculoskeletal pain is your body's only way of communicating to you that something is under stress or strain, so listen to it.
Be quick to get pain diagnosed and treated, and with osteopathy you'll be given advice on how to manage your own pain and what to do to prevent reoccurring injury!
Feel free to give us a call on 0172 251 2521 to book yourself in for an appointment or a consultation with one of our expert osteopaths.