Combating Desk Disease

by (Osteopath & Clinical Pilates Instructor)

Man at DeskWith working hours getting longer, people are spending more and more time seated at their computer.  We at Stay Tuned are seeing an increasing number of people complaining of headaches, neck and back pain.  So, what can you do to limit these problems?

Drink more water.  Dehydration can lead to headaches.  Increasing your fluid intake can decrease your risk.  Working in an air-conditioned work place can make it easier for you to become dehydrated.

Schedule regular breaks.  At a minimum, take a few minutes break each hour to get up, move around and stretch.  Try setting a reminder on your computer to prompt you.  Standing while talking on the phone is another idea to get you out of your chair.

Check your desk set-up.  Below are a few simple guidelines to ease the strain on your body.  If you are unsure most workplaces have an Occupational Healthy and Safety Officer to assist you.

  • Chair.  The height of your chair should allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor, or a foot rest, with a 90 degree angle at your hips and knees.  The height of the back rest should be adjusted to support the curve of your lower back.  There should not be an arm rest as these stop you sitting closer to your desk.
  • Desk.  The top of your desk should be just below elbow height.
  • Monitor.  The top of your screen should be level with, or slightly lower than eye height when sitting upright.  Stands, or books can be used to raise the monitor.  The monitor should be placed about an arms reach away and directly in-front.
  • Desk layout.  Items used frequently should be placed close and within reach.  The keyboard should be placed close to the edge of the desk with the mouse beside it.  If using the mouse  a lot, try swapping sides occasionally to avoid overuse injuries.
  • Document Holder.  These take the strain off your upper back and neck by bringing the document you are referring to, or reading closer to eye level, decreasing the need to look down.
  • Head-sets.  Are great because they free up your hands to take notes while on the phone. A much better option than holding it between your cheek and shoulder which, causes neck muscles to tighten.

Get out and exercise.  Find a sport you love and stick to it.  The fitter and healthier you are, the better you will cope with the daily grind.  Swimming is a great form of exercise to free up joints and muscles.  Pairing up with a friend or group will help keep you motivated.

Seek treatment.  Too many people go day to day with pain and discomfort.  So, don’t wait until it gets worse, call the staff at Stay Tuned to book an appointment.

by (Osteopath & Clinical Pilates Instructor) on 15th November 2011 |

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