Say Goodbye to Neck and Back Pain with These Ergonomic Workspace Tips
If you’re like most people, you spend the majority of your working day sitting at a desk in front of a computer. And like most people, you probably experience neck and back pain as a result. This is because many people do not have an ergonomic workspace.
In this blog post, we will discuss some tips on how to create an ergonomic workspace that will help reduce or eliminate neck and back pain!
Posture and spinal health play a vital role in your overall well-being, so it stands to reason that our every day habits can either improve or hinder our body’s ability to function optimally.
As the workplace continues to evolve we are seeing more people showing signs of inadequate workstations. Not only is it important for employers to ensure employees are properly set up to give them the support required to do their jobs with minimal risk of injury, it’s also extremely beneficial for them as the employees are able to do their work with more efficiency and focus.
Having a workstation that is properly set up can reduce the risk of eye strain or work-related headaches. It can also minimize neck and back pain as well as decrease the likelihood of repetitive strain on your spine, muscles, joints, and tendons. When your workstation is ergonomically set up for you specifically, it can be more comfortable but more importantly, it can lower stress and overuse injuries that often occur when we sit/stand at improperly set up workstations.
Improperly set up stations can of course lead to a myriad of ergonomic-related pain and biomechanical issues in the long term.
Below are common conditions related to inadequate workstations:
Unfortunately, a number of these conditions can be passed off as “normal” aches and pains that often get assigned to us as we age, however many can be avoided if ergonomics, during work and leisure, are given proper attention.
When we are at our desks we need to be able to move periodically. Moving throughout the day is important—did you know that fidgeting is actually good for you? Fidgeting, like foot tapping or bouncing, can help blood flow, help you stay focused and alert, and burn calories!
More and more offices are seeing the value of a stand-up desk. Especially now that they have lowered in price since being first introduced making this an option for homes as well. If this is something you want to consider or is in the budget, I do recommend getting an anti-fatigue mat. Anti-fatigue mats are designed to reduce fatigue caused by standing on hard surfaces, like hardwood floors or cement for long periods.
When you sit at work it is imperative that you have a good ergonomic chair. You can consider using an exercise ball also, as they are affordable and do a great job of ensuring your core is engaged and active while sitting. You can add a base with wheels to the exercise ball if you think you might feel more confident.
If you work in an office building then an easy change can be taking the stairs over an elevator. If you are working from home, take mini breaks throughout the day to get water, walk downstairs or upstairs to use the bathroom or simply get up and do some mild stretching every hour or so.
Walking meetings can be an exceptional way to move and get some fresh air. If you know that there is a meeting coming up with a coworker and you do not need to be sitting at a computer, suggest going for a walk or set up your meeting for a call so you can walk while you meet. If you are working in the same office building you can walk around the building outside for the meeting.
There you have it! Say goodbye to neck and back pain by following these ergonomic workplace tips and don’t forget to move often.
Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp, B.Sc., D.C., IFMCP is the author of the book—Hack Your Health Habits: Simple, Action-Driven, Natural Solutions For People On The Go and the creator of several online health education programs. Dr. Nathalie’s mission is to educate, lead and empower people to take control of their health.