Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Who would have thought that musculo-skeletal injuries can occur just from sitting down all day?! Unfortunately, this is all too common in patients who have an office job and do not have their desk set up correctly. This leads to aches and pains, injury, fatigue and lowers productivity.
East Sussex Osteopaths recommends the following office set up to reduce strain on the body and make a working environment more comfortable:
- Try to ensure that your wrists, forearms and elbows are level with your desk and parallel to the floor.
- Ensure your feet are firmly on the floor so that your knees and hips are at the same height. If your chair doesn’t adjust accordingly or this alters your arm position at your desk, try using a foot-stall.
- Keep your back in a neutral position by setting up the chair backrest so that you are not slouching. You may also need additional lumbar support if you experience lower back pain. However, you should also change your position every hour, for example by leaning back, extending the legs or standing.
- Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned so that you are not reaching for them. The top of your screen should be at eye level and it should be at least an arm’s length away.
- Not only do you need to look after your back but you also need to look after your eyes. Staring at a screen for too long can cause eye fatigue so change your focus every 10 minutes, for example looking out of the window or across the room.
- Make sure that every hour you stand up and have a little walk. Whether that’s to pop to the toilet or put the kettle on, it will help your circulation, lymphatic drainage and alter your posture.
Although your employer should endeavour to create the best work station to suit your needs, it is ultimately your responsibility to utilise this properly and look after yourself. To enhance your posture, further improve circulation and reduce fatigue, try incorporating some of the stretches on the videos page of our website. If you are experiencing back, neck or shoulder pain, contact the clinic and we will see if a structural osteopathy treatment is appropriate, where you will also get more tips on healthier working.