Tuesday, 25 August 2020
These days, most workers spend more time seated in front of a computer than on a comfy armchair.
So, how do you protect your back and neck from the risk of long-term damage while at work?
According to the HSE, 6.6 million working days were lost back in 2017 – 2018 due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders. So, looking after your spine and posture needs to be your top priority!
So, we thought we’d share a few tips to help you manage any back or neck pain…
Okay so this may sound obvious, but your chair could be the source of your problems.
Simply swapping your current chair with a model that offers full adjustability and postural support could help you in the long run.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to ease your suffering.
Take regular breaks – stand up, stretch, and move around for a couple of minutes every 30 minutes, when possible. If you wear any fitness tech, you’ll probably get ‘buzzed’ if you’ve not hit your step count for a while! So, get up and go for a walk around the building, outside area, or around the block, especially at lunchtimes.
When you’re seated for long periods, you tend to slump, which forces pressure on the natural curve of your spine and your lower spine then starts to straighten. Over time, this stresses your spinal muscles and causes back pain. Some experts suggest it’s better to take multiple short breaks, than one long break, so build in some active time during your working day.
Workstation assessments - whether you’re working at home or in an office space, it’s important to get a workstation assessment done, so you’re seated correctly and have the right set up. This includes checking that your eye line is positioned towards the top of your monitor, that your desk is the right height for your arms, and your chair is at a comfortable angle for your legs.
Ideally, your thighs should be at right angles with your body and should slope slightly downwards, with your feet flat on the floor. Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle in front of your keyboard to avoid wrist strain. If you’re not set up ergonomically, then you run the risk of hunching your shoulders, which will stress your upper spine, or crossing your legs, which will twist your lower spine.
Use a laptop stand – as part of your desk set up, a laptop stand will enable you to position this to the right height, if this is your main monitor, or to the side if you work from two monitors, which is increasingly common. Plug in an external keyboard and mouse, which are usually much comfier to use than a laptop keyboard and touchpad.
Check for RSI - this stands for “repetitive strain injury” and is an increasingly common condition for office workers. Usually, this occurs when someone has been using a mouse for extensive periods, which can cause wrist, arm, and even shoulder strain. As well as adjusting your desk, chair and monitor, as above, you can buy supportive equipment to prevent RSI occurring - for example, gel mouse pads with wrist support.
Use a headset – we only have two hands, so if you’re on a call and trying to type at the same time, then you may be prone to squeezing your phone in between your shoulder and ear. An unfortunate consequence of this position is the risk of getting a serious back or neck injury. So, invest in a headset, so your hands are free to type, write, or drink a cuppa before it gets cold…
As well as taking the opportunity to get out for a short walk during any breaks in the daytime, it’s important to maintain your fitness level outside of work.
Try to offset long hours spent behind a desk with a good level of exercise throughout each day to create a healthy life balance.
“Aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day across the week… take part in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscles and bones”
Why not discover a new comfort dimension by ordering a supportive chair today?
See our vast range of chairs, which have been designed for every level of support you can imagine…And to make your customer experience even better, our Klarna payment scheme gives you the option to buy now and pay later. Plus, every chair comes with a 12-month warranty and a 30-day returns policy too.
At Furniture Online, our expert customer service team have an in-depth knowledge of our extensive chair range. We can advise you on a suitable model to ensure you or a family member enjoy the best level of support.