Have you been typing on a computer for hours without taking breaks or adjusting your workstation? It’s likely that you are at risk of getting RSI, or repetitive strain injury. Watch our latest video for the full details on preventing RSI with ergonomics:
What can YOU do to prevent RSI while working
It doesn’t have to be like that, though. Just follow these simple steps and take care of yourself.
- Awareness of time. It’s important for you to understand how much time you’re spending performing a task. One way to do this is by using a timer or an alarm. But it’s also important to be aware of how you feel and think about your work. If you sit at a computer and put your head down for three or four hours, you are setting yourself up for repetitive stress injury. So one of the things that I encourage my patients to do is to set a timer or an alarm for 30 minutes. When that timer goes off, stand up, and stretch for a second. Move around for a moment. Just stretch and move even for a minute. You can always go back to your previous activity, but definitely taking those breaks is really important. (See also: 5 Simple tips to avoid strain injury at work.)
- Changing your tasks. Alternate your tasks so that you’re not doing the same thing for really long periods of time. The task switching will use different muscles in your body as well. This will relieve the stress on the parts of the body that are being overworked.
- Proper placement of items. Your keyboard should not be too far away from you. Your arms shouldn’t be far from your body, or you’re applying strain on your wrist, shoulders, and upper back. Adjust your chair height to help your body maintain a normal position. Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle. This will reduce the pressure on the legs, hips, and lower back. Also, keep your feet flat and not cross them. And make sure you have enough room in front of your chair for easy movement.
- Keep good posture. Keep your natural curves when sitting or standing. No slouching. Don’t bend forward to reach something, move it closer to you instead. And make sure there’s plenty of opportunities to sit and work in normal postures. If you set up your desk in a way that requires you to turn your head to the side for extended periods of time, then you are setting yourself up for neck pain and upper back pain, and problems down the road.
We have a program called Ergonomics Everywhere. It’s a component of our Core 4 Posture System. In this course, we will walk you through how to recognize when something isn’t right with your body’s alignment and then offer solutions to help, and correct it. We’ll also discuss different types of breaks that will allow you to avoid fatigue for long periods of inactivity so that you’re able to stay on top of all of your work without sacrificing your work quality. Click the link below, to get more information about how our online course can help you to achieve better health today: tompkinschiropractic.com/posture-program
Check out 23 Simple Ways to Deal with Stress.