Do you work at a desk on a regular basis? Do you often suffer from irritating back aches and pains? It’s estimated that some 3.7 million working days are lost each year due to back pain problems alone – that’s quite some number! Here at The Brookdale Clinic we regularly see patients who come to us with problems that can be attributed to a poor desk working set up.
A combination of headaches, sore necks, shoulder and back pain can all be avoided if you ensure you sit correctly and understand when it’s necessary to seek help for specific problems.
This week, one of our physiotherapists – Lauren – shares with us her top tips for keeping yourself in perfect condition if you are working at a desk on a regular basis.
Top 5 Tips for Pain-free Desk Working
Ensure that your screen is at eye level, so that you’re not looking down to it. If you regularly use documents to read from, invest in a document reader stand which again will bring your eye level up. With many people working ‘on the go’ or from home and using laptops, there is even more chance that you won’t be looking up at your screen correctly, so find a way of raising your screen where possible.
Your chair should, ideally, offer some amount of lumbar support. Ensure you sit back into the seat (into the support) and that your feet are flat on the floor. Use a step if necessary – improvise if needs be!
If your job requires you to be on the phone regularly then it may be an idea to invest in a head set. Pinning a hand held or mobile phone between your ear and shoulder isn’t great and can lead to a stiff neck.
Be mindful of your posture. Every so often, try to roll your shoulders up, back and then sink your shoulder blades down. Whilst it’s hard to remember to do this, try using a sticker on your screen to remind you, set a reminder on your phone or even download one of these screensavers from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists!
Change in position
Although we all need to be productive, changing your position – even for a couple of minutes – every 45 minutes or so will help you to remain comfortable. Try standing up to take the odd phone call and feel the difference!
Whilst this isn’t obviously an exhaustive list, just making one or two small changes can have a huge positive effect. Keep active, be aware and most of all, pick up the phone to come and see one our physiotherapy specialists if you feel that your pain is lasting longer than you’d like. We’ll give you a full assessment and advise you accordingly to get you back to full health.