While keeping a job for financial stability is imperative, depending on your career, it can take a toll on your body and overall health. Many companies require their employees to sit at a desk for 8-10 hours per day. Although these positions are necessary to get the job done, your body may be thinking otherwise. Staying stationary at a desk working on a computer for hours at a time can cause stiffness in the joints, back pains, and weakened eyesight. It is recommended that you utilize lunch breaks to get out of the office and move around. However, it’s rare that the time is used on stretching the body due to work demands and other errands needed before the five o’clock hour hits.
Overtime, your body can become overwhelmed with the pressure, sending warning signals to you in the forms of uncomfortable aches and pains. In many cases, these signals go ignored and the issues progress. How can you prevent long-term damage to your body by adjusting the way you position your body at work?
What Are You Doing Wrong?
First, you must determine what you’re doing wrong with your body while on the clock. While deadlines and daily tasks may be all that’s on your mind, what you should be considering is how your body responds to these work-related activities. Sitting in your own personal cubicle with little to no movement keeps the limbs stagnant. Your body is in dire need of movement along with a break from prolonged sitting.
Areas of the Body Affected
The Back – Posture is key when taking a seat on any occasion. Sitting up straight allows your back to be in an upright position with no added pressure on the spinal cord. Pains in your back can be temporary while some may require a visit to the doctor.
The Muscles – The muscles within your body are designed to be flexible in daily bending. However, keeping them in one position for long periods may cause them become inflamed and/or tense. If you feel pain, numbness, or tingling in your arms, legs, back, or neck, take it as a sign that your body needs a break from the position you’re in.
The Eyes – In the digital age, computers and/or laptops are a must in the workplace. However, using these machines every day, all day, can have damaging effects on your eyes. These machines aren’t meant for your eyes to be glued to them for long periods of time. Blurred vision, headaches, and eye strain can be a negative result from constant computer usage throughout your workday as well as if you like to take your work home and use these devices throughout the evening.
Hands & Wrists – It’s very easy to get lost in the day with your hands set on the keyboard in one area. The hands and wrists are getting a full workout, but not in a good way. The constant reaching of the fingers with the stagnant wrist positioning may cause stiffness and aches.
What Can You Do To Help?
Improving Your Posture – In some cases, bad posture habits at work form because of the types of chairs provided by your company. Hard and even soft chairs with little to no back support can be a factor in the adverse effects caused by working at a desk. It may be impossible in some cases to request another chair from your boss without medical documentation, however, there is a way to get support for your back. Cushions and special pillows are made specifically for this need. Read more here about the benefits of these back support products along with the styles available that can suit you best.
Reduce Muscle Strain – During work hours, your muscles will largely feel the tension from sitting for hours and it has to be balanced with stretches and time spent standing and walking to provide relief from the pressure. Tense and inflamed muscles and tendons in your back and hips can place undue pressure on vulnerable nerves, like the sciatic nerve, which flows down the back and legs. Physical therapy and exercising these muscles can help ease and potentially stop the progression of pain. Preventative methods might include fine-tuning how you sit as well as taking a break throughout the day to stretch, walk around, or do a mini yoga session.
Prevent Vision Issues – Adjusting the brightness/contrast settings on your screen as well as magnifying fonts and pages you are viewing can lessen the strain on your eyes when using the computer. In addition, scheduling time away from the desk allows your eye muscles to rest. It is a good practice to set your alarm clock for a “Rest Your Eyes” moment where you can catch up in the real world and regain your focus.