At the ISIS Chiropractic Centres we always give our patients ergonomic and postural advice.
Are you sitting comfortably? Good, but don’t sit for too long!
Most our patients who work in an office environment have had their workstations assessed. But they still feel uncomfortable when working on their computer.
When we are given advice on how to set up our computer workstations we are always told exactly how to sit, how to adjust our chair’s seat angle, how to adjust the back- and arm rest. We are also told what height the computer screen and desk should be.
All set – great! So why do you still get pain?
Well, there can be many
reasons, but let’s focus on a few common things that can cause
you aches and pains.
First of all, prolonged static activities such as sitting and driving will compress the discs and this press the fluid out of the discs, which makes the spine unstable.
Muscles that are used in a static way have a tendency to get tight and become achy.
It doesn’t matter how correctly you sit you need to move regularly. Our bodies where made to move! It is not enough to just swivel your chair around and answer your phone occasionally.
You need to get up and move, ideally once every 30 minutes. It is important to have micro-breaks and do a few simple exercises.
If you mainly navigate and input data using a mouse, it is likely that you have tightness in the muscles of the shoulder and arm on that side. Don’t forget to take a break.
Consider getting another input device such as a trackball, tablet or rollermouse.
Also consider learning more keyboard commands instead of using the mouse. It is also important that you can rest both your forearm and heel of your hand in front of the keyboard and rest your elbows on the armrests. This will allow the shoulder muscles to relax and stop them getting too tight.
Varifocal or bifocal glasses will make you tilt your head back slightly. This will increase the tension in the muscles at the top of the neck and compress the joints. The result is often headaches and neck pain.
So our advice is not to wear varifocal or bifocal glasses
if you suffer from headaches and neck pain. It usually helps to have two separate glasses.
There are many things to consider when somebody comes to us for chiropractic treatment with work related pain. As chiropractors we have to consider all the things above and many more in order to help you.
As mentioned earlier, most of our patients have already had an assessment of their workstation, but they are still not comfortable. Most of the time this is because they have underlying problems, causing muscle tension and poor posture.
If you have a slumped posture you are more likely to have pain and discomfort.
Is your spine flexible enough to allow you to sit with good posture?
Are your postural muscles strong enough and do they have the endurance to help you to sit correctly throughout the day?
Having a muscle imbalance will cause poor posture. Poor posture has also been linked with poorer health. A forward slumped posture is also associated with restricted breathing .
Bad posture has a lot to answer for - not only can it have a negative affect on your health but it could also have a negative effect on how people around you perceive you as a person. The first impression is everything. People make their mind up about you in the first 7 seconds of meeting you. Good posture is commonly associated with confidence, capability and good health. Poor posture can be associated with laziness, sloppiness, or a perceived lack of care about your appearance.
Read more about StraightenUp UK , a 3-minute exercise programme to improve your posture and core stability.
Back pain and neck pain can be caused by sitting for prolonged periods putting increased stress on the neck; arms, back and legs as well as the back muscles and discs. Sitting in a slouched manner can cause the spinal ligaments and muscles to become overstretched.
Poor ergonomics can cause damage to your body. The spine, particularly the lower back and neck, are the most commonly injured areas, leading to recurrent pain.
Download our Your Body advice sheet on how to set up your workstation, which also includes some simple but effective 2-minute exercise programme to make you more comfortable at your workstation.
If you are still not comfortable, you should have your back and posture checked. Please contact ISIS Chiropractic Centres here.
Milton Keynes: 01908 307075
Northampton: 01604 460200
Aylesbury: 01296 489231