Good Habits and Reminders for Working at a Sitting Job All Day
Whether we like it or not, many of us have jobs, duties, or even hobbies that require us to spend most of the day sitting down at a desk or workspace. While we are all aware of the risks of work involving a lot of movement and heavy activity of the body, sitting for long periods can also create strain on our bodies and lead to pain or injuries over time.
That’s why we are here today with some reminders of good habits to employ when you need to work at a table or desk for hours every day. These fall into two main categories: Sitting Properly, and Taking Breaks. These may seem like such common sense, but it’s surprising how quickly we may forget or lose practice, so it’s never bad to have a reminder from time to time. Let’s go!
Set up Your Work Area with Proper Height and Back Support, in Order to Sit Properly: If you are constantly craning your head forward or down all day, this is sure to cause neck pain and bad posture. Having a workspace set up for proper ergonomics can make a huge difference once you start having to sit in the same position for long periods. Better yet, are there ways for you to make your workspace convertible into a standing-desk for those times when you need a little respite on your body or to get moving a little, while still staying on task? Getting the blood flowing to your body and brain, even through some simple stretches and at-desk activity can make a big difference.
Whether working at home or in the office, you ideally want your computer screen, drawing board, or writing area to be level with your eyes, and you should only be looking down about 10 degrees in order to view your work. For instance, if your screen is too high or low and you are craning your neck in one direction for hours at a time, this can cause neck strain and pain. Not only that, but your whole body should be focused on the goal of sitting properly. When at your work area, try to make sure you don’t need to lean forward too much. Also pay attention to any tension in your body, such as in your shoulders. If you are finding tension here, try to stay relaxed, and position yourself with your arms close to your sides, with elbows bent at 90 degrees. Also don’t forget to keep your lower back supported with feet flat on the floor.
Most importantly, any time you are experiencing pain in your body because of your sitting position, or feel pain in your eyes and head from focusing on the same thing for too long, this signals it is likely time for you to shift positions, or take a well-needed break. Which leads us to our next section:
Take Breaks to Walk, Stretch, and Attend to Your Needs:
Have you ever found yourself losing track of time while working, and when you finally stand up every joint in your body creaks? It has happened to the best of us, and sometimes it’s easy to get lost in work. But for most people, you can only really focus on a certain task for so long before you need to take a break to clear out some cobwebs anyways.
That’s why it’s a great idea to plan scheduled breaks or set a timer to remind yourself to get up from your work area every once in a while. Why not take a quick lap around your home, office, or studio to get the blood flowing and body ready to get back to work? Or maybe you will find this a good time to do some stretches for your back and any other areas where you find yourself feeling tense. One area in particular that people tend to forget about are the tendons of the wrists and hands. When you work on a computer, on paper, or at an easel all day, it is important to pay attention to your wrists and hands, and give them a little extra love so that your hands don’t cramp up or suffer negative setbacks in the future.
While you are taking a break, also consider what other physical needs you may have been neglecting while sitting at your desk. When was the last time you had water or something to eat? Staying hydrated and nourished is just as important as staying on-task, as this can help keep you focused and all your cells working, rather than suffering from dehydration or being unable to stop thinking about how hungry you are.
At the end of the day, any sort of task or job that requires you to do repeated motions or stay in the same potion for long periods of time can cause strain on the body. And did you know that according to the Injury Prevention Center of Alberta, 42% of lost-time claims in the workplace come from over-exertion or repetitive motion injuries? By practicing simple tips and setting up your workplace for safety and comfort, you can reduce your risk of extra strain and injury. Your body will certainly thank you when the day is done!
Regardless of the type of work you do, DASH Supplemental is there to help you assess your risks and keep you covered. Give us a call or text at 780-951-0701, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about your options today.