Effects of long hours at the desk

May 2, 2014

Maintaining a static position for hours can cause physical fatigue, reduce circulation to our soft tissues (muscle and ligaments) and lead to aches and pains.

 

Long periods of sitting at the computer are a risk factor for developing muscle and joint pains, neck and back pain, shoulder, wrist or hand overuse injuries, eye strain and headaches.

 

 

Why is good posture important?

 

When posture is good, the mechanics in the body work efficiently. This limits wear and tear and helps to reduce strain on muscles, ligaments and joints.

 

 

The 7 Hidden exercise in the workplace

 

  1. Walk or cycle to work; can you get off a couple of tube/bus stops earlier?

  2. Dynamic sitting on an unstable structure such as an exercise ball instead of a traditional chair will force your core muscles to keep working throughout the day. This improves blood supply and makes it very difficult to cross your legs

  3. The best way to promote good health at the computer is to set-up an ergonomic work station and remain as mobile as possible at the desk

  4. Stand; you can read or talk standing up. Standing for important phone calls helps to project your voice more efficiently which makes you sound more confident!

  5. Walk; take the stairs, have regular water cooler breaks, get out and about for your lunch. Some companies encourage ‘walking meetings’ at work, could that work for you?

  6. Drink plenty of water; it keeps you well hydrated and forces you to take more loo breaks

  7. Stretch whenever you have a minute; waiting for a large document to load, after completing a task or while you wait on the phone

 

6 steps to sitting better
  1. Sit on the anterior 2/3rd of your seat, knees in line with your hips. Avoid leaning into the back rest

  2. Sitting on your chair, ensure your: 

    1. ankles are flexed at 90 degrees

    2. hips are flexed at roughly 120 degrees (knees should be a little lower than your hips)

    3. shoulders are relaxed

    4. elbows are bent at 90 degrees 

  3. Roll yourself under the desk, your forearms on the desk and parallel to the floor. You may need to readjust the height of your chair to maintain the angles described above

  4. Move your keyboard and mouse to meet your hands, don’t reach for them. Using gel pads to support your wrists will help prevent repetitive strain injuries

  5. Any documents, phones etc should stand between the keyboard and the side of your screen to preserve as good a set-up as possible

  6. The screen should be at arm’s length and the top third of your screen should be at eye level to prevent neck flexion and the associated slouching that goes with it

 

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