Medical Student LoansJune 29, 2016
Working in an office environment and using improper work techniques can cause pain and, if left untreated, it could eventually cause a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). Repetitive Stress Injuries are related to the overuse of the muscles and tendons, usually caused by repetitive motions or poor and awkward postures. Symptoms often include swelling, tingling and dull pain in the fingers, hands, wrists, elbow, neck or back. Repetitive Stress Injuries develop over periods of time and may not be noticed at first. Pain prevention is the best defense against a Repetitive Stress Injury.
Using a neutral body position is the best prevention for pain caused by working in an office. A neutral body position is a posture in which your joints are naturally aligned.
- Keep your head level, forward facing and in line with your torso.
- Feet are flatly on the floor or a footrest.
- Shoulders are relaxed and arms hang normally at your sides. Your elbows should be at about 90-degree angles.
- Back is supported by lumbar support or a small pillow.
- Sit vertically or lean back slightly.
- Have frequently used items close by so you do not need to stretch.
- If you are on the phone frequently, use a headset.
- Position your monitor so it is directly in front of you and at eye level.
- Take frequent breaks to stretch or take a walk around the office.
Use these easy office exercises to prevent pain while working.
- Back stretch. Sit on the edge of you chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lean over until your chest touches your knees, let your arms dangle to the floor and relax your neck.
- Cross your arms. Extend one arm straight out in front of you. With your other hand, grab the elbow of the outstretched arm and pull it towards your chest. Repeat with the other arm.
- Twist your torso. Sit up straight and inhale. As you exhale turn to the right and grab the back of the chair with you right hand and the arm of the chair with your left hand. Repeat with other side.
- Leg stretches. While sitting, grab the seat of your chair and extend your legs straight out in front of you until they are parallel with the floor. Point and flex your toes five times.
- Sit and Stand. Stand up and sit back down in your chair without using your hands.