Carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain and headaches, lower back pain with radiculopathy. These are all common repetitive stress injuries (RCI) that affect many sedentary office workers, and there are several common denominators that link all three. Static postures, repetitive tasks, poor sitting/stand postures and inadequate work designs are the culprits. In order to reduce these risks that lead to injury, simple preventative measures must be made.
First, an ergonomically designed work station is necessary. Appropriate computer setups, supportive hand/wrist keyboards and accessories, and proper lumbar supports in well-designed chairs will assist in reducing aches and pains in the hands, neck, and low back.
Sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time will affect the body adversely. It is imperative that the body change positions frequently to avoid the onset of discomfort or stiffness. It is recommended that sedentary workers vary positions every 20-30 minutes before the onset of symptoms.
Finally, to disrupt repetitive tasks that place tremendous strain on muscles, tendons, and joints, frequent and regular stretching throughout the day is essential, simple, and brief. Three simple stretches include the following:
· Standing back bends - repeat five times every hour
· Chin tucks - hold for 30 seconds, one time, every hour
· Wrist extensor stretch - hold elbow straight with fist closed. Bend wrist down and turn it out. Hold 10 seconds, one time, every hour.
Following simple preventative techniques, like the ones mentioned above, can improve work conditions and ultimately assist in lowering workplace injury. For more information on preventing workplace injuries and improving office/work station design, please contact us at (302) 478-5240 or (302) 655-5877.