In downtown Toronto desk jobs are the norm; And so are long hours. This combination leaves many people vulnerable to desk-related injuries, which commonly affect the neck, low back, wrist, shoulders and hips. Typically, when one thinks of injuries the first things that come to mind are sports injuries, slip and fall accidents or even motor vehicle collisions however and many of us don’t consider deskwork as a cause for injury. Desk-related injures are definitely more subtle in their onset but they are no less debilitating than any other cause of injury. Additionally, desk-related injuries can be more difficult to combat because they build up gradually over time and are formed as a result of habitual postures. This can take some time and perseverance to undo.
Physiotherapy for Office Workers in Downtown Toronto
If you are an office worker that is experiencing pain that worsens as the work day progresses and improves over the weekend or when you are not at work, then you may be dealing with a work related overuse injury. It is important that if you are feeling aches and pains related to your work that you seek out help from a skilled and trusted physiotherapist (or another health professional that specializes in musculoskeletal dysfunction and treatment of such conditions). Your physiotherapist will assess your condition and determine where the pain is coming from. They will combine passive hands on treatment with active treatment that you can implement while you are at your desk. Once you are feeling better, they will educate you on tips and strategies that you can use while at work to prevent recurrence of the same issue. They may recommend regular stretches, monthly massages and other great tips to get you moving in healthy ways while you are at work.
Taking a Stand against Desk-related Injuries
Our bodies were not made to sit down all day no matter how much it might be necessary to get the job done. Taking frequent standing and walking breaks is helpful to boost your metabolism and promote circulation and blood flow to your joints, muscles and soft tissues. Some companies have implemented programs such as lunchtime yoga or walking groups – both helpful ways to introduce more activity to an otherwise sedentary workday. Another way to minimize the risk of a day spent at a desk is to ensure that your workspace set up properly and ergonomically.
Setting up a Safe Workspace
A proper setup is imperative for anyone who is spending long hours at their desk. Here are some tips to help keep you safe in your workspace:
- Ensure that your computer monitor is arms length away from you and that the top of the screen is level with your eyes.
- When you are sitting your feet should be flat on the floor and there should be at least an inch between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees.
- When keyboarding or mousing keep wrists straight and elbows at a 90-degree angle. Arms should be down by your sides to keep the shoulders neutral.
- If you use the phone a lot try using a headset to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders.
- Have everything that you frequently use close by to minimize repetitive reaching.
If you consistently have pain at work or feel like your desk is an unsafe environment it is best to have a thorough assessment by a trained professional. Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our Office Ergonomic Evaluators or skilled Physiotherapists– we can help you set up a safe, sustainable, and effective workplace! To learn more, please view our previous blog on “Sitting Hygiene and Proper Sitting Posture”.