Working a desk job can be hazardous to your health. It’s not dangerous in the same way that construction or factory jobs might be, but many injuries can happen at people’s desks, especially to the back, neck, and shoulders.
Some Pain Facts
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, over 80% of adults experience back pain at some point. Back pain is also a leading cause of absences from work.
The human body was not designed to sit at a computer all day every day. The body is a sort of perpetual motion machine that we often treat more like a paperweight. This can lead to some of the back issues that many adults experience today.
So what can be done about it?
Stand Up for Your Health
Many adults have worked or will work in an office for decades, and very few employees or employers stop to consider the overall health of their workplace. It may seem like an out of place discussion to bring up, but for those who spend the majority of their week in the office, it’s an important discussion to have.
You should always consider your health a priority for yourself. It is also an important asset to your company. Poor physical working conditions can cause individuals to miss work, and can even lead to disability claims. This can be avoided if you stop to consider improving your workplace health.
Things You Can Improve at Your Desk
A great place to start is talking to your HR department. Most HR staff are familiar with the need to give people an ergonomic place to work if they ask for it. Examples of things HR can do include:
- Bring in an ergonomic specialist to assess your work environment. An ergonomic specialist can help you learn to adjust your posture so your head doesn’t move too far forward, your back is supported, and you don’t strain as you type and reach for the mouse.
- Choose the right chair. An ergonomic specialist can help you choose the right chair for back support, and also show you the right posture to avoid pain and stress.
- Recommend a standing desk. Standing desks are much more common now than in the past. People generally feel more energized, have less body pain, and get more done with a standing desk, particularly one that also converts to a sitting position when you are feeling tired.
- Show you exercises to do to avoid pain. Taking a break is one thing, but actually doing mild stretching for even two minutes for every 30 minutes you are at a computer may be the secret to saying goodbye to your aches and pains in your back.
- Recommend a yoga or posture brace. These flexible nylon braces are pure posture correctors. Wearing one while working can help relief back stress.
The bottom line is that if you must work in an office sitting down all day, to protect your health, you need to do everything within your power to be sure your posture is natural, and your back in particular is supported.
Looking for solutions to chronic back pain or other aches caused by injury or desk work? Contact Limitless Physical Therapy and Wellness, a San Marcos physical therapy clinic, to learn more or to schedule an appointment.