by Physiotherapist Ash Bennett.
How can I help myself in eliminating work related physiological pain?
Working from the epicentre of industry, in the Docklands, I see many of you as clients – sore, tight and fatigued before midday! The majority of you are fit and healthy, so why is it that you are experiencing these symptoms? As technology has developed, more and more people of all ages are experiencing aches and pains that come from sitting at a computer for long periods of time. Corporate Australians are likely to be the worst affected!
These aches and pains are commonly felt in the neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, wrist and elbow joints. In some cases, the nerves to the hand become compressed, causing weakness and or neural pain. Headaches can also become frequent.
These symptoms can occur following the development of gradual damage to tendons, muscles, nerves and other soft tissues from repeated physical movements over a period of time. Any level of discomfort over periods of time can lead to fatigue.
Whether you have a fixed desk or work with hot desk systems, there are many ways to manage and prevent the on-set of pain or indeed help relieve symptoms.
- Posture – Make sure you are sitting correctly with your back supported and have a non-cluttered workstation set-up.
- Move – Get up from your work station for a short stretch or walk around to promote blood flow to fatigued muscles every 20-30 minutes.
- Stretch – Include regular stretching into your work routine. Every 20 to 60 minutes, do three or four stretches for hands, shoulders, neck and trunk. Hold each stretch for approximately 30 seconds if you can but remember that some is better than none!
- Lighting – Your whole working surface should be evenly illuminated, without shadows near your hand. Use curtains to control screen reflections or bright sunlight, and don’t sit facing a screen with bright daylight such as a window, beyond and behind the screen.
- Variety – Vary your work tasks (keyboarding, filing, telephone, reading documents, etc).
- Pinnacle! – Too wound up to tell what’s causing your pain?! Book in today with one of our expert physiotherapists for a free assessment & find a pain-free plan for your work place.
The use of reminders, whether it be alarms or sticky labels all assist in triggering you to do the above during your daily routine at work. Devices such as Fitbits can also be great tools for generating some awareness of how sedentary we can be at work.
Ill health through work related injuries have a heavy cost on employers with lost productivity, sickness absence and staff turnover. At Pinnacle Health Group we know corporate health and wellbeing better than anyone else, ask us today how we can help you to work pain & fatigue free!
Ash Bennett is a senior physiotherapist and clinical educator, his experience is broad and he enjoys incorporating his skills as a qualified acupuncturist within his treatments. He is based at our Docklands location Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.