What is the most dangerous place for your health? Is it behind the wheel of your car, where you run the risk of a major accident? Is it your own back yard, where you could throw your back out mowing or gardening? Or could it be the place you spend most of the day… your desk. Most injuries of the musculoskeletal system come from time and stress. For most of us, where we work is the perfect domination of these two.
The average work week in the U.S. is 47 hours. How does time at a desk or computer impact your health? Poor ergonomics. It is a term everyone has heard. It’s the postural deficits and repeated movements that create injury. The classic poor desk posture fights the natural curves of the spine, strains the joints, and stresses muscle groups that actually deforms your body. This dangerous place not only gives you a sore back at the end of the day, but can also cause sciatica, carpel tunnel syndrome, shoulder impingement, and even tennis elbow. Yes tennis elbow, repetitive mouse use can cause tennis elbow!
But what can you do? You have to go to work. There is no way around that. If you can’t escape this danger zone, you can still protect yourself from it. The first thing you can do is take breaks. It is the easiest to do but also the easiest to forget. There are countless apps for your phone and computer that are designed to remind you to move and most are FREE (Move, Stand up, Awareness, and Big Stretch Reminder just to name a few.). Every 30min is a great time to get up and move around even if just for a couple moments.
Another way to take some to the danger away is to take a look at your workstation. Is your monitor at eye level? If not, move it up. Constantly looking down strains the spine. Next is the keyboard, keep it low. The farther you have to reach for it, more damage is being done. A wireless keyboard on your lap is the most natural position you can type in. Lastly is your desk, a standing desk is great alternative but a new desk is expensive. Varidesk is a company that makes a product that turns any desk into adjustable standing and sitting desk. Some companies will even purchase these for staff with a doctor’s recommendation.
Chiropractic care is a safe and natural way to help correct the damage from poor ergonomics. But if you don’t protect yourself from the most dangerous places for your health, injuries will happen. Consult your Chiropractic physician about your workspace. Don’t become a victim to the daily grind.