Take the pain out of work with these 3 tips
What do headaches, back pain, eye strain and that crick in your neck all have in common with your workplace? More than you realize. What’s more surprising? The very things many of us need to be productive at work could be the same things causing damage to our bodies.
What many workers may not know is that everyday movements such as bending, reaching overhead, performing the same or similar tasks repetitively, lifting heavy items or working in awkward body postures can take a tremendous toll on their health. Missed workdays, injuries and illnesses are often the result of musculoskeletal disorders. These disorders are injuries or pain in joints and soft tissue: muscles, ligaments or nerves.
For centuries, workers suffered through a myriad of maladies including low back pain, tendonitis and migraine headaches with no solid knowledge of what was causing their anguish. Then, an official term was put into place to describe the study of how work environments can cause the painful conditions they were enduring. The name is ergonomics, and it’s defined as an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.
From choosing the right chair, to adjusting your computer keyboard to the correct angle and height, office ergonomics is gaining mainstream momentum as more and more companies search for ways to keep employees productive and comfortable. In fact, an ergonomics peer-reviewed study reveals some telling research linking painful symptoms such as lower back and upper extremity aches with a worker’s office environment.
Are you experiencing wrist pain, tired eyes, pounding headaches or other aches? Then try these simple solutions for some much needed relief:
- Break it up. — Stepping away from your workspace, even for a short time, allows you to refresh and recharge. If you can’t take a break, then give your hands and eyes one. Take your hands off the keyboard, close your eyes and lower your shoulders. Doing so will give your muscles and mind a much-needed reprieve.
- Stretch it out. — Standing up at your desk keeps your leg muscles active, improving circulation and preventing stiffness. Easy moves like shoulder shrugs, neck rolls or side stretches improve clarity while relieving tension. Taking five to 10 deep breaths can alleviate stress and provide a sense of well-being.
- Practice proper posture. — Sitting up straight is something you’ve probably been told since childhood. But did you know there’s also a big benefit to your health? Next time you’re at your desk move your hips as far back as you can, adjust the height of your seat so your eyes can easily see your computer screen, put your feet flat on the ground and rest your shoulders at your sides. Doing so will earn you points in the praise department — from your body.
Work doesn’t need to be a painful endeavor and keeping these tips in mind can help prevent pain from invading your workspace. If your neck or back pain persists, or if you suffer from commonspinal conditions and have been told you might need surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today to find out if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive spine procedures. It’s a move that could help you Stand Tall℠ again.