Although physiotherapy is commonly associated with the world of sports, it’s important to know that physiotherapists are trained to provide pain management treatment to anyone. In fact, they can help those suffering from joint, muscle or other soft tissue damage—including individuals who spend a lot of time sitting at an office desk or bending down or lifting heavy objects.
It’s time to learn about proper workplace ergonomics from a Brampton physiotherapist.
What is ergonomics?
Whether at an office, construction site or retail establishment, ergonomics is the arrangement of the things workers use on a regular basis in the best way possible to ensure that people and these things are able to interact efficiently and safely. This means workstations and job tasks can be improved in a way that prevents injury or strain to a person’s musculoskeletal system. Modifications to workplace ergonomics can be made for those with existing conditions to reduce pain further so productivity can be maintained.
There are many ergonomic risk factors, most of which are present in just about all kinds of jobs and are found to occur with varying activity levels. If your job requires any of the following functions, then your joints and muscles could become injured or strained:
- Your hands work hard for prolonged periods of time, and usually in a repetitive and forceful manner.
- You work in an office setting where you sit at a desk for all or most of the day.
- You frequently perform heavy lifting, carry heavy loads in your arms or push or pull heavy objects.
- Maintaining an awkward position or posture for long periods of time at work or at home can be an issue. Be aware that these awkward postures aren’t necessarily going to be uncomfortable, because you may be used to them.
- Consider whether you are being exposed to constant vibration or cold working conditions.
Tips for sitting at a desk
We recommend that you optimize your working conditions to protect your muscles and joints. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Watch your posture: Pay close attention to your posture while you’re at work. If you tend to lend forward over your desk often, move your monitor and keyboard closer to you. Make sure the computer monitor is directly in front of you or, to avoid twisting your neck, position your chair so that your head is aligned with the monitor. It’s important that your wrists are always at a neutral angle—wrists supports may help alleviate pain.
- Adjust your chair: Use a chair that allows your arms and wrists to sit at the keyboard naturally, without strain. Make sure you have lower back support either by adjusting the backrest or using a pad, and see that you have two inches of space between the seat’s edge and your knee pits.
- Make sure you see the monitor clearly: Be sure the monitor is at comfortable distance so you can see without straining, and adjust your chair so you’ll be at the correct eye level with the monitor. Set the screen so it’s not too bright, and keep it clean.
Want to speak with a Brampton physiotherapist? Don’t hesitate to contact the team at Paramount Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic today!