Combatting Musculoskeletal Pain in the Workplace
"Sitting is the new smoking." We've all heard it before... but is it true?
While adopting an exceedingly sedentary lifestyle certainly doesn't do Americans any favors in terms of their health, it is absurd to think that "too much sitting" (even with "bad posture") is the cause of all that ails us.
So, why then, is musculoskeletal pain so common in many office places around the country?
We will discuss 3 factors that we at Stassi Chiropractic view as major contributors to work-related aches and pains.
Not enough movement sprinkled in throughout the workday
Uninterrupted screen time and not enough natural sunlight
Poor dietary habits while at work
Not enough movement
First off, we would like everyone to know that there is NO SUCH THING AS POOR POSTURE. Nor is there such a thing as perfect posture. Posture related pain only occurs when spending too much time in ANY static posture. To illustrate this point, try hyperextending your index finger and plan on holding that hyperextended position all day long. Chances are that you wouldn't feel much discomfort after the first 10-15 minutes. How do you think your finger would feel after 8 hours, however? Same concept goes for sitting posture.
Remember, the best posture is the next posture... KEEP MOVING throughout the workday. Sit, stand, walk, jog, stretch, squat, pick something up, put it back down, anything you can do to break up prolonged periods of static positions.
Uninterrupted screen time
As humans, we weren't designed to stare at computer screens for hours on end. We recommend that for every hour of uninterrupted screen time you take a 5-minute "mental reset." This reset could be a casual stroll around the office or, if feasible, a casual stroll outside.
Our bodies/brains crave natural light. Sunlight can help regulate your internal clock and allows certain chemical processes to occur in the body more efficiently. Both of these things can have huge impacts on alertness and energy throughout the day.
Poor dietary habits
Snacking is your friend! We encourage people to pack a few high-quality snacks to munch on throughout the day. High quality, minimally processed foods include (but are not limited to):
-Nuts of all kinds
Try to time these snacks so that you can have 2-3 snack breaks throughout your day. Wash each snack down with 8-12 oz. of water. And last but not least... NEVER LEAVE WORK FAMISHED!
Work-related aches and pains go far beyond your posture when sitting at your desk. The 3 strategies discussed in this blog are what we consider to be "low hanging fruit" in terms of combatting musculoskeletal pain at work. These 3 things are easily implemented into your daily routine with a minimal amount of planning.
Let us know if these quick tips worked for you. As always, we are here to help if you ever have any questions or concerns!