After a weekend away from the office, once again it’s Monday! But how is your office affecting your body? More and more we see people attending the clinic due to the sedentary lifestyle they lead Monday to Friday and it could be adding to an ‘epidemic of back pain’ says Michelle Heming from Alive for Life Chiropractic, Bristol.
One of the main things I mention to my clients with regard to work is to “check your desk”! Clear away the clutter, give yourself space and make sure that you adjust the desk and chair to you. The latter is especially important if you desk share, but even if you are the only person who uses your desk it is good to get into the habit of checking-in with yourself to make sure that you are comfortable. Check the computer and keyboard are correctly placed in front of you and that the mouse has not gone for a wonder. Taking a couple of minutes to check this when you start can help protect your spine from unnecessary stresses and strains.
There are also two other problem areas – sitting too long without a break and carrying heavy bags. In a recent survey by the British Chiropractic Association when asked to state the longest period respondents had sat at a computer without a break, most people – over 30% – said between three and five hours! In addition, over 10% of workers carry a laptop – and many struggle weighed down with paperwork, items to post, desk diaries, lunches and text books.
To help protect our backs, Michelle offers some useful tips for us to keep in mind at the start of each working week:
- Make time to check your bag/briefcase each day for items you won’t need. Additional weight in your bag is extra weight that your shoulders and back have to bear. This is especially important for school children who tend to have to carry heavy text books and files throughout the day.
- Use a rucksack, carry it on both shoulders and adjust the straps so that the bag is held close to your back.
- Take the time to adjust your chair – Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your hips slightly higher than your knees and your eyes level with the centre of the computer screen.
- Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk/table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
- Take regular breaks. Never sit at the computer for more than 40 minutes; less if possible. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little.
- For those in school, face the board so you are not having to twist your spine in order to see the information.
If you are suffering with back problems or finding your work environment is causing you discomfort, Chiropractic may help you find the answer. For more information or to book a consultation call 0117 989 8224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org