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5 Common Office Work Injuries and How to Avoid Them
Jul 28, 2021
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There seems to be a reason why Repetitive Strain Injuries are one of the most prevalent office problems. From carpal tunnel syndrome to CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome), and everything in between, our bodies wasn't designed to perform one task for most of the day. And, while structure and production may steal the headlines for ergonomic injury due to the degree of harmfulness, percentages of damage in the office are just as significant. This is particularly true considering how badly our bodies are outfitted not only to repeat any motion, but also to repeat very fine, accurate motor skills like typing and using the mouse. Our muscles thrive when we mix things up, just like our minds.

To comprehend why repetition is so difficult for your muscles at the workplace, consider one frequent desk movement: typing. Typing poses a tough risk since most of us use less-than-ideal straight, flat keyboards, causing our hands to protrude outwards. This strains our elbows, wrists, and lower arms, and it can also lead to terrible posture, which can cause problems throughout the neck and back. Typing would be less dangerous if you used your muscles in many different techniques for ten minutes every day. However, after numerous hours of doing so, our overused muscles and tendons go berserk. Bursitis and tendonitis are two typical causes of swelling. If the swelling happens in your carpal tunnel (the tube through which your wrist tendons pass), you will experience pain along with tingling as pressure builds up to your nerves. A ganglion cyst can form as a result of fluid buildup. The list continues - everything from writing up reports to responding to emails.

Many of us go through this pattern daily. There are numerous health problems related to sitting for much more than 8-10 hours per day. How many of you spend all that time sitting?

Back Injuries

Back injuries can occur as a result of poor ergonomics.

Your job frequently impacts your likelihood of experiencing painful back issues. Employees who work at a computer are among the most dangerous. From tech to telecommunications, individuals are sitting for long periods, and their workstations are not adequately configured.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

These are complex and painful conditions that affect tendons, tendon sheaths, muscles, and nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is among the most frequent, a disorder in which a nerve within a specific pathway in the wrist is compressed, resulting in various sensations ranging from uncomfortable to painful. Tingling, numbness, and intense pain are some of the symptoms. Tendonitis is another prevalent MSD: the inflammation or irritation of tendons, which is commonly caused by poor posture. Bursitis is a similar injury: inflammation of the bursa. Bursitis can cause elbow, shoulder, knee pain and swelling.

Headaches and Migraines 

Working for far too long in the wrong lighting can cause headaches; if the light in the room or your computer display is itself too bright or dim, it can also cause anything from burning, itching, and fatigue in the eyes, to unrelated symptoms like nausea, indigestion, and even double or blurred vision. Bad posture is a significant component in migraines and headache sufferers because it causes active trouble spots in your shoulder and neck that relate directly to the head.

Trigger Finger

This disorder is caused by swelling of the tendons and/or tendon sheaths in the hands. Repetitive actions or gripping too tightly or frequently might make it impossible to move one's fingers without suffering acute discomfort.

Stiff Neck

If you hold your neck in a tense position for an extended time, you will almost inevitably experience neck pain.

How You Can Change Things Up

Consider all of your actions during the day to understand why switching things up is an important habit to incorporate into your daily to-do list. Let's explore a few options for getting started.

Repeatedly Change Your Seat

Alternate between sitting and standing postures during the day to keep things interesting. Begin by replacing your conventional chair with an ergonomic chair that has a wide variety of height options so you can find the best fit for you. Change your chair for a stool around an hour into your day. To do this, you should preferably also acquire a height-adjustable desk so that you can keep your workstation at the proper height regardless of your position. After about an hour, move to stand and keep going to alternate all through the day.

Shop for the best height-adjustable standing desks here.

Include More Exercise in Your Daily Routine.

Exercise is the key to variety; therefore, the more physical activity you can incorporate through your day, the healthier you will be. To keep moving while thinking, arrange a walking meeting outside or using a mobile standing desk. Similarly, walking to work rather than driving is a terrific way to mix things up and get in a decent exercise session at lunch. Biking is also excellent for this, as is riding mass transit, which allows you to walk to and from stations briskly.

Work on Ergonomic Devices

Adjustability is among the most significant characteristics of really ergonomic equipment. In essence, it isn't ergonomic if it can't move with your body as you use it continuously during the day. As previously stated, height-adjustable workstations allow you to switch between sitting and standing positions by altering the height of your desk to your liking. Desk bikes are another excellent ergonomic device that promotes physical movement even while sitting at your desk and working on your computer. An adjustable split keyboard, for example, will not only be separated in half but will also feature ball and lever innovation, allowing you to modify its settings. Additionally, an ergonomic mouse will give adequate support, allowing you to relax your muscles as they tire over the day. As a result, ergonomic equipment adapts with your body to minimize injury and assist you in changing your approach.

Get your desk bike here.

Stretch

Stretching, like changing your seating position, will gently activate your muscles, causing them to perform in various ways, lessening the consequences of weariness and tension. While full-fledged desk yoga is an option, twist your neck from side to side, getting up to stretch your back, and rotate your wrists will be beneficial. Try to take a short stretch break every 45 minutes, and stretch in your seat every time your job spontaneously comes to a halt. For even better outcomes, combine this with getting up from your chair to go to the water fountain or breakroom.

Tasks Should Be Rotated

Simply alternating between different types of tasks and intentionally implementing such variation through your day can keep things exciting and stimulate your muscles in a light effort. For example, you could set aside the first hour or two of your day to respond to emails, plan your first walking meeting each day, and then do some tidying before returning to the computer. You'll continuously challenge your brain and keep yourself encouraged in this manner while also providing lots of variety for your muscles.

Final Thought

Repetitive use will place a load on your muscles, causing inflammation, and plain exhaustion. This will make you utilize your muscles in less than optimal ways to cope. Each of these symptoms is inconvenient enough on its own, but they can lead to more severe ailments that will leave you out of function for a long time, if not forever. Variety is the key to excellent ergonomics and, more broadly, to staying healthy and productive.