Hello, and welcome back to the Western Rockies Interventional Pain Specialists blog! In our previous blog, we provided a relatively in-depth description of what we offer at our practice in Fruita. Today, we’re going to provide you with some priceless information regarding your health and how you can manage or even prevent pain when working a desk job.
If you work at a desk job, it’s important that you’re taking the time to take care of your health and combat issues that could arise from working while sitting down for 40+ hours a week. In this blog, we’re going to cover some of the types of pain and issues that can arise from working a desk job, and more importantly, steps you can take to prevent these issues.
Sitting… And Sitting… And More Sitting
The biggest problem that you’ll face when working a desk job is sitting. This is not to say sitting is bad for you, but it can be harmful when you’re sitting all day, every day for years upon years. That’s because sitting is a resting position — so if you’re sitting for a majority of the day, your body will be burning less calories, reducing blood circulation and muscle mass, and potentially even developing hormonal imbalances.
In addition to this, sitting may cause a reduction in bone mass, weaken our immune systems, and increase the presence of inflammation. These effects won’t manifest immediately, but it’s important to understand that these are very real risks if you’re working at a desk — especially if you’re working at a desk, getting home, and continuing to sit throughout the evening. Over time, these issues can contribute to health complications like obesity, osteoporosis, and even heart disease — just to name a few.
What’s more, in addition to the risks associated with sitting day after day, you must also be aware of your posture. If you’re sitting at your desk with bad posture, you’ll likely experience neck pain, back pain, eye strain, and more.
How To Prevent Issues Associated With Sitting Day After Day
Don’t worry, we know how intimidating all of these issues can seem when rattled off in a list. Now, we’ll spend some time covering different ways you can work to increase your health and prevent the issues that you may face when working a desk job.
Move As Much As You Can
When you work in an office environment, you should work to incorporate movement into your daily routine. What you can do may vary depending on your work environment, but consider some of the following options. If your office is above the first floor, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. This small change can embed some routine activity into your day-to-day, breaking up the time you spend sitting. Next, try to spend more time standing during your day. This could be standing for meetings, utilizing a standing desk, or even just standing up and stretching periodically throughout the day.
If you need to talk with someone in the office, consider walking to their desk to have a face-to-face meeting rather than sending them an email. This is another way you can get moving while also taking a much-needed break! Finally, when taking your breaks throughout the day, make an activity out of it! Get up from your desk and walk — you could even get a quick workout in if you have that kind of time.
Utilize A Standing Desk
We mentioned this above, but one of the most effective ways to combat the issues that can arise from sitting at a desk all day is to use a standing desk at your workstation. Fundamentally, standing desks allow you to change from sitting to standing, keeping you moving throughout the day. There are also reports that suggest standing desks can improve productivity, comfort, focus, and energy levels. And these are only a few of the benefits! Hopefully, your office will supply you with standing desks, but if not there are a plethora of options you can shop for.
When You Sit, Do It Right
It’d be unreasonable to think that you’ll be able to remove sitting from your work experience! So, that means that you should be prepared to sit in a way that promotes proper posture and bears the least strain on your body.
To do this, there are a few things that you can do. To avoid neck and eye strain, start by setting your computer monitors up so they’re in line with your forehead. This simply keeps your monitor at a level where you won’t need to look up and down, helping you maintain good posture.
Next, keep your seat at a height that will keep your hips and knees positioned at a 90-degree angle while also being able to keep your feet flat on the ground. This is another way that you can keep yourself in the best posture that puts the least amount of strain on your body.
Now, let’s talk about your keyboard and mouse. They should be at a level that allows your elbows to be bent at a 90-degree angle. Additionally, be sure that you don’t have to reach too far to access your equipment.
Finally, as you’re sitting be sure to keep your head positioned directly above your shoulders. This is a great way to keep tabs on your posture, when your head is above your shoulders you won’t have to worry about straining your back or neck.
Western Rockies Interventional Pain Specialists
Hopefully, this blog has given you some helpful information that will keep you comfortable and healthy at your desk job. That being said, if you’re suffering from pain and need a solution that works, contact our specialists today. We’ll consult with you, learn your situation, and develop a plan to manage your pain with unique, noninvasive methods.