Does work give you a pain in the neck (literally)? Do you experience pain or discomfort at work? Do your back and neck tighten as the day progresses? Is this you?
Most office workers now spend a large portion of their day seated behind computers, or in other stationary tasks. Good posture and Ergonomics are crucial in ensuring that we avoid a slow build up of potential pain-causing problems, though many of us may not even be aware of what Ergonomics actually mean. Poor posture, and poorly designed working environments can cause pain whilst you work, and you may find your home and sporting life severely affected as well.
Your chair and workstation must be designed to provide ample support, and a relaxed posture...and the other physical aspects of your work station should be carefully considered in order to avoid potential pain issues. To illustrate how important your working environment is, and to help you assess your own situation, we have given you a few simple to ask yourself:
- Is your back properly supported? If not, then you may put strain on your lower back discs. To reduce this, sit with your buttocks far back in the chair. This will help to support your lower back in its natural curve.
- Do you need to hunch forward? This increases the stress in your upper back and neck causing back pain and headaches. Lift your chest up!
- Do your hips and shoulders face in the same direction? Many workstations place computer screens to the side of your working area. THIS WILL CAUSE PROBLEMS! You must sit square on to your screen.
- Are your eyes level with the top of the screen? Too high and it will strain your neck, too low and you will slump!
- Is your keyboard easy to use without reaching forward? To avoid a build up of tension in your shoulders and arms, your arms should be relaxed with your elbows by your waist and your forearms horizontal.
- Is your chair underneath your table? When you can't bring your chair underneath, you will tend to slump forward. Adjusting or taking the arm rests off your chair may help your position and give you much needed back support.
- Is your chair adjustable? Are you able to change your seat height, tilt, back support height, arm rest height and width? If not, you may be unable to sit correctly at your desk.