Posture health in the Workplace
Sitting for hours at our desks and computers without taking regular breaks and bad ergonomics are a great recipe for aching necks, sore backs and tired eyes at the end of the day! Here are some simple easy tips to improve your postural health at work so you aren’t reaching for the wheat bag at the end of the day!
- Take a break every 45-60 mins. Place some reminder pop ups on your phone or computer to prompt you.
- With each break, stretch a different part of your body; start at your feet and work your way to your head over the course of your day. These only need to take a minute, so over an 8 hour day you have only spent 10 minutes looking after your posture health!
- Try to alternate your mouse use between your left and right hands. This will feel a little awkward at first but can make a big difference to preventing RSI and overuse injuries.
- Ask your work health and safety officer about introducing a standing desk for shared use in the office. These initiatives have worked really well in work places where they have been introduced.
- Organise an ergonomic assessment of your desk set up through your management team.
- Ensure your desk and chair heights are comfortable and appropriate. Can you place your feet comfortably on the floor? Can you relax your elbows onto the desk?
- Ensure your computer is directly in front of you, don’t spend your day sitting twisted like a pretzel. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree!
- Does your work place have adequate lighting? Is there glare from your screen?
- Do you have good air flow and ventilation?
- Ensure your screen is at the correct height! Imagine the extra strain on postural muscles tilting your head slightly up or down 8 hrs/day 5 days/ week!! External key boards and computer stands can be great aids to getting comfortable at your desk!
- Have your eye sight checked regularly. Visual problems can contribute to headaches and neck and shoulder pain.
- Remember to let your shoulders relax, draw your shoulder blades gently down your back! Scapula’s were not designed to cuddle your neck!
- Don’t forget to Breathe! One of the most common dysfunctional patterns we see is poor breathing mechanics! Take time during the day to check in with your breathing, especially those days where you are feeling tired, stressed and in high demand! Often you will find you are over engaging your muscles around the neck and shoulders and your breathing will be shallow. Sit or stand and rest your hands on your lower belly and take a deep breath in and out, feeling your hands on your belly rise and fall.
- Couches are not for sleeping on at the end of the day!
- Don’t forget to move!