Does your job require you to sit at a desk for hours at a time?
Do you notice pain in your wrists, or tingling in your fingers?
How does your back feel after sitting in an office chair all day?
Millions of workers all over the country sit at a desk, sometimes for eight or more hours consecutively. If you’re not taking breaks often enough or investing in ergonomic furniture, especially if you work at home, you could be feeling it in your hands, wrists, back, and neck.
The good news is there’s a lot you can do to prevent carpal tunnel including:
- Use a softer touch – You might grip your tools or writing utensils tightly when a firm hold is plenty to get the job done. You might pound your keyboard when gentle keystrokes will do the job just as well. Pay attention to mindless tasks you may not notice are impacting your posture.
- Stretch often – When you take breaks throughout the day, try this simple stretch: first, make a fist. Then, release your fingers and fan them out. Stretch them as far as you can. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Talk to your workplace about ergonomic adjustments – While you’re at it, adjust your keyboard so you don’t have to bend your wrists when you type and keep your elbows close to your side.
How to Improve Posture at Work
If you sit at your desk for hours at a time, there are a few things you can do to improve your space to make it more comfortable. Developing a routine for taking breaks can help improve your overall health.
Here are our ergonomic tips to improve your spinal health:
- Choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. Adjust the height so your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest.
- Keep items like your phone, printed materials, pens etc., close to your body to minimize reaching. Stand to reach for anything that’s too far away instead of straining your muscles.
- Keep your mouse within easy reach and on the same surface as your keyboard. When typing, keep your wrists straight, and your hands at or slightly below the level of your elbows.
- Do you often talk on the phone while typing? Instead of cradling your phone between your head and neck which can cause strain, use a headset, or utilize the speakerphone function.
- Keep your monitor directly in front of you and about an arm’s length away. The top of the monitor should be at or slightly below eye level.
To further improve your health, make sure you don’t sit at your desk for hours. At least once per hour, you should get up and walk around, or do some stretching. Try to go for a walk if you’re able or find an off-screen task to keep your eyes fresh.
If you must sit for most of your workday, we know getting relief isn’t easy. You can’t just quit your job, and sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to stretch, take a break, or exercise.
Regular visits to the chiropractor can help correct many of the problems caused by excessive sitting and poor workspace ergonomics. Make time to schedule a complimentary consultation to see if a chiropractor in Ann Arbor can help. Contact Dr. Gessert today to get started!