In a world of high stress and high demanding jobs, many people are spending more time at their desks. In an effort to be more productive and meet deadlines, people are maintaining static postures to complete their work. This static positioning can lead to physical ailments such as increased stress hormone production, postural strain, decreased muscle mass and overuse injuries. The good news is that these issues can be prevented with a few simple changes!
First, take a break every 30 minutes from your desk.
You can set a timer on your computer to remind you to get up and take a walk, talk to a colleague, or get a drink of water. This will allow you to get increased blood flow to your body and will give your eyes a much-needed break from the screen.
Next, check your desk set up for proper posture!
The ideal positioning at your desk should look like this:
An ergonomic evaluation may be necessary, and some companies will provide you with one and make accommodations. A pull-out keyboard can minimize wrist and shoulder strain. A hi-low desk can help you change positions often and a chair with good lumbar support can reduce low back stress. The computer monitor should be at eye level or slightly below.
Finally, do some stretches and exercises at your work station.
Some examples include chin tucks, scapular retractions, thoracic extension, and rotation stretches. Performing these activities will maintain flexibility and reduce muscle imbalances.
A few simple changes at your desk can minimize your risk of injury and pain. Remember, maintaining your health is important in order to meet those deadlines and be a productive worker!