If you have an office job and spend at least 35 hours a week sitting in front of your computer? And your shoulder/neck area is in knots, or your lower back hurts? Don’t worry. This does not mean anything is getting damaged or your body getting “worn out” from work.
Office ergonomics: details can make all the difference
Most of us who work in offices will experience back pain or neck and shoulder pain at some time. Usually the pain is not due to anything serious and settles within a matter of days or weeks. It is simply that muscles and muscle groups that are not physically challenged might shorten or become weaker, others will become tense or cramped. This is only natural if you spend a lot of time at a desk, but can be avoided if you are proactive about your own health and fitness.
What many people don’t know: your work environment, be it the position of your computer, the height of your desk or the ergonomic shape of your chair can have an influence on how your body reacts.
Of course it is always a good idea to make your work environment as supportive for you as possible.. You can also work out to counterbalance your monotonous or non-use of muscles. Also, watch out for psychological stress factors and try to avoid them. Factors such as stress or loading yourself with too much work of responsibility can greatly contribute to tenseness. If you experience strains and pains, take not of when they flair up.
You might find that if you are following an activity that is exciting and interesting to you, pain is much less likely to occur, whereas in times of stress or discontentment, be it personal or work-related, pain might increase.
Avoiding back pain and neck/shoulder tension with office ergonomics
Find out what your personal triggers of tension (stress, conflicts at the workplace, personal problems) are and what role they might play and try to reduce them. Lots of back pain is related to stress and psychological strain.
Treat yourself to physical exercise to balance out stationary work: Try to work out at least three times a week. Try running, go to the gym or do some yoga. This will not only stretch and strengthen your muscles, but also free your head of stress.
Try to sit as ACTIVELY as possible. Change your sitting position as often as possible, stand up from time to time and stretch. If in an office environment, use every chance you can get to or move around: Take the stairs instead of using the lift. Make use of lunch breaks for a brisk walk.
Try to get out of the rut if you feel you are stuck in one.
What if back pain strikes?
What can you do to help yourself?
A list of simple do’s and don’ts that will help you deal with back pain and let you get on with your life.
- Stay active as long as usual, if possible. But see your doctor if you are worried about the back pain or if the pain persists or gets worse.
- Speak to your doctor whether you can keep working and, if necessary, discuss with your employer what can be done to make it easier for you to stay at work.
- If necessary, modify the kind of activity that causes pain.
- Smarten up about back pain. Inform yourself and listen to your body. If necessary, speak to a doctor, physiotherapist or a chiropractor.
- Use heat to relieve back pain. Elastoplast’s Therapeutic Heat Pad provides 8 hours of pleasant and relaxing deep heat. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist contact your healthcare practitioner.
- Don‘t stay in bed and wait for the pain to go away. In the past, this was the accepted response to back pain, but evidence shows that this does not help recovery. The sooner you get moving around the better.
- Don’t worry. Back pain is rarely serious and worrying too much about it will only delay your recovery.
- Don’t avoid activity simply as a way of avoiding the pain.
Please note that none of the above given tips or recommendations substitute medical advice. Important: consult a health professional in case of an injury or if you suspect overuse of joints or a medical condition such as a fracture. A physician should be consulted in those acute cases when the condition is accompanied by reddening, swelling or hyperthermia of joints, ongoing joint trouble or severe pain and/or are associated with neurological symptoms
(e.g. numbness, tingling, loss of motion).
For further information regarding Elastoplast products, please contact us via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Carefully read the instructions for use given in our products‘ packages.