Many people don't consider a desk job to be high risk, but if someone is sitting at a desk for hours every day, it can result in a slow-burning but chronic and lasting impact on their health. The negative effects of a continuous sedentary work environment can be devastating to the body. Negative behaviors that might exacerbate back and neck discomfort, among other ailments, are painfully formed by poor posture. If you want to get the jump on work pain before it gets the jump on you, here are a few tips you can follow every day to keep your body healthy at your desk job:
How Could Desk Work Be Harmful?
Thinking rationally, one would expect that sitting down for several hours at a time would be painful for their back, even under pleasant working conditions. Prolonged sitting can result in various health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and back pain. In addition, being sedentary can overall lead to a decrease in energy and an increase in feelings of fatigue. If you aren't focused on sitting with a good posture, then bad posture can cause severe neck and shoulder pain.
On top of all that, modern work with a computer brings its share of hazards. Repetitive motions, such as typing on a keyboard or using a mouse, are known to be causes of carpal tunnel syndrome or other injuries. Also, staring at a computer screen for long periods can cause eye strain and headaches.
Working in painful conditions, even if all you do is sit, can put you at risk for several health and safety issues. This includes increased amounts of stress and anxiety, which can have a negative impact on an individual's mental health. If someone is stuck working at a desk all day with no opportunity to move around, they may become frustrated and unmotivated.
Easing and Preventing Desk Job Pain
Maintaining a good posture is one of your strongest tools in the fight against desk pain. Keep your monitor at a healthy distance from your face, and set the font to a point that is readable from your distance. Your neck and eyes will thank you. Keep your forearms and wrists parallel to the floor and sit at a 100-degree incline. Keep your feet flat on the ground as you work. Elevated feet can lead to foot pain, and resting your foot on your thigh can mess with your spine.
Relax your muscles and stand when you think your body needs to. Many workers have recently gravitated to standing desks. Some benefits associated with using a standing desk include improved posture, increased alertness, and increased calorie burn.
Don't hesitate to take brief mental breaks. Allow for a few minute-long pauses for meditation throughout your day. Meditation, even for just a minute, will help you with feeling more relaxed, less stressed, and more focused. A quick break will help if you need a burst of motivation and a way to avoid burnout.
Take some time to get a quick exercise in, as well. Climbing up and down a few flights of stairs or walking outside during one of your breaks is helpful, especially if you can make a routine out of it. Don't forget to make healthy choices. It can be easy to fall into a habit of eating take-out from your desk, but if you take the time to prepare a healthy and nutritious lunch for work, you can avoid inflammation, headaches, and general body tension.
Easy Desk Stretches
If you don't have the time to get up and walk around, you can get in some beneficial stretches straight from the comfort of your desk chair. Stretching for about five minutes every hour will get your blood flowing and boost your energy a little. In addition, they can relieve the stress built up in your neck and back. Try these out during your next workday:
1. Place one hand on your elbow, and bring the arm you're holding over your chest. Keep your arm straight.
2. Stretch it across your chest while keeping your back straight.
3. Stay in the position for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat with the other arm.
Seated Spinal Twist
1. Sitting upright, keep your feet planted on the floor.
2. After pressing down and lengthening your spine, slowly twist to your side, holding on to the back of your chair for support.
3. Hold this position for about 5 to 10 seconds, then return to a face forward position.
4. Repeat this motion on the opposite side, and continue for about 5 repetitions.
1. Stretch your arm as far out as you can in front of you.
2. With one hand, open your palm and have it facing upwards. Lightly pull down on your fingers with the other hand for around 3 to 5 seconds.
3. Point your open-handed fingers upward and have your other hand pull them to your body for another 3 to 5 seconds.
4. Repeat with your other hand, and continue for 3 to 5 repetitions. This stretch will help your fingers as well as your wrists.
1. Sit up straight in your chair.
2. Face forward, keeping your chin level with the floor. Turn your head to one side and hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds.
3. Turn your head to the other side and hold for the same amount of time you just spent.
4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
Standing Toe Reach
1. This stretch will ask you to briefly stand up from your chair. Stand straight and keep your feet at the hip's width.
2. Slowly move your hips back and slide your hands and arms down your legs.
3. Keep your back as straight as possible and go until it hurts slightly. You don't want to overdo this stretch and seriously hurt yourself.
4. Going as far as you're comfortable, with legs completely straight, stay in the position for around 30 seconds.
5. Repeat 3 to 5 times.