If you’re not careful, slouching at a desk all day or tapping away at a computer keyboard can lead to painful and disabling strains in your wrists, shoulders, elbows, and back. Dr. Glenn Loebig urges you to turn over a new leaf, and follow some simple advice that will make the year more enjoyable and less painful.
“We used to believe that occupations like construction caused most on-the-job injuries,” said Dr. Loebig “However, someone who works at a computer is putting considerable stress on their wrists, shoulders, neck and spine, and this can cause some really painful work-place injuries.”
Repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, as more and more people spend long hours in front of a computer screen.
“Today, it’s not just the administrative assistant who uses a computer,” said Dr. Loebig. “Most corporate executives spend their work day in front of a computer, too. When the work day ends, many people go home and ‘surf the net’ for hours on their own PC’s.”
Carpal tunnel syndrome alone affects approximately 230,000 people every year and accounts for nearly half of all workplace illnesses, costing the country nearly $800 million in health care benefits and rehabilitation. Other injuries include low back pain, postural and spinal stress, and tendinitis—conditions that can affect a person’s work, as well as make life painful.
To reduce the possibility of suffering one of these painful and possibly disabling injuries, Dr. Loebig suggests:
- Make sure your chair fits correctly. There should be 2 inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of your knees. Ideally, the chair should tilt back so you can rest while you’re reading what’s on the screen.
- Sit with your knees at approximately a 90 to 120-degree angle. Using an angled foot rest to support your feet may help you sit more comfortably.
- Position your computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below eye level, with adequate lighting and no glare.
- Keep your wrists in the neutral position, not angled up or down, while you type. A wrist rest can help.
- Take periodic stretch breaks.
If you do suffer from strains or injuries on the job, see a doctor of chiropractic. Call 703-757-5817 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Glenn Loebig or Dr. Jenn Auchter at Loebig Chiropractic and Rehab in Great Falls, Virginia.