Our backs were not designed to spend long periods of time sitting at desks – a common feature of many work environments.
In the office
Spending six to eight hours a day in front of a computer can lead to shoulder, arm, hand and neck problems, as well as issues with balance and coordination.
One study has found that over 45% of office workers experience neck pain.12 Back problems are big contributors to lost productivity in the workplace.
Low back pain is one of the most common causes of disability among people of working age, and its impact on industry is enormous. It’s been reported that after headaches and colds, back pain is the third most common reason for taking time off work.13
Specifically, the work-related physical activities that are believed to be related to the onset of low back symptoms include lifting heavy weights, bending and twisting, and, of course, working in the same position for extended periods.14
Common Posture Problems
Forward Head Posture
Forward head posture is the most common postural defect found in computer operators.15
Round Shoulders is distinguished by the hunched over appearance it creates, and is a poor posture that is often associated with office workers and computer operators.
Rotate hips can be caused by holding a poor position for a long period of time, such as sitting at your desk twisting to write as well as looking at the computer.
In severe cases, long term bad posture can lead to Scoliosis, a condition that results in the spine twisting from left to right, instead of running in a straight line from top to bottom. Depending on the severity, scoliosis of the spine can have a detrimental impact on vital organs, such as your heart, liver and kidneys.
The good news is that postural issues can be corrected, and even, in some instances reversed.10,11
When in a working environment that requires a lot of desk and computer work, make sure your workstation equipment is ergonomically sound. See ergonomic tips.16
Take regular breaks – in fact you should take a 1 – 2 minute break every 30 minutes you spend sitting at a desk or workstation.17
Your local CAA chiropractor can assess your spinal health and provide the chiropractic care needed to improve it.
Your chiropractor can also provide guidance on some exercises that, when done regularly, will help to strengthen your muscles and maintain improved posture.
Source: Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA)