Five Tips From Athletico to Make Sitting All Day Less Stressful
WELLNESS IN THE WORKPLACE STARTS WITH YOUR DESK
Did you know that sitting all day can put as much, if not more, strain on your back as lifting and standing? Yet 80 percent of jobs are sedentary or require only light activity. So what’s a desk jockey to do?
Andrew Carlstrom, ergonomics and job analysis program manager at Athletico Physical Therapy, a leading provider of physical and occupational therapy in the greater Chicago area, offers five tips to ensure the workplace does not stress your body or cause aches and pains.
- Position yourself properly: When sitting at your desk, be sure your feet are flat on the floor, or on a footrest, with 2-3 fingers width distance between the front of your chair and the back of your knee. Sit back in the chair, as opposed to leaning forward, so that the back rest can help support your spine and help maintain the lumbar curve in your lower back. A simple posture cue is that ears, shoulders, & hips should be aligned.
- Monitor the monitor: The computer monitor should be positioned so that your eyes are in line with the top 1/3 of the monitor and the screen is directly in front of you. Never hold the head in a downward facing angle or twist the head to the side as this can strain your neck. To avoid glare, place the monitor perpendicular to the window, rather than in front of it or behind it.
- Don’t overlook the mouse: Be sure your keyboard and mouse are on the same level and close to each other. If mousing is causing you wrist pain, consider learning to use the mouse with your opposite hand. Although it may feel strange at first, most people will quickly adapt.
- Move! Get out of the chair as much as you can during the day, at least every half hour to 45 minutes. Walk to a colleague’s desk instead of sending an email. Get a drink of water. Stand up while talking on the phone. Stretch your arms and back. Every bit helps.
- Rest your eyes: Your eyes get tired, too. Give them frequent breaks by employing a 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
If you have aches and pains and just can’t get comfortable at work, consider seeing an ergonomics specialist, who can give you workstation tips and exercises. Athletico offers complimentary 30-minute injury screening at their facilities, which includes an assessment of your condition, suggestions on how to care for it, and a plan for next steps. Visit www.athletico.com to learn more about how physical therapy can help alleviate pain and improve your life.