Neck pain, back pain, wrist pain, headaches, obesity, and worse—all can be related to your work habits.  What is ergonomics, and how can that science help you get your daily work done, without compromising your health?  Here are some facts and tips, courtesy of your Downtown Syracuse Chiropractor.

Ergonomics is an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely

Merriam Webster

Your employer has strong incentives to keep you healthy and reduce your risk for pain from work.  Unfortunately, their incentive is selfish, and to keep you on the job, focused and productive.  Pain from work can lead to a number of negative work conditions such as:

  • 13% of workers had decreased on-the-job productivity due to common pain conditions such as arthritis, back pain, headaches, and “other musculoskeletal” conditions (carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains/strains, etc.).  
  • 5.4% of all workers suffered decreased on-the-job productivity due to headaches, with back pain not far behind. 
  • economic costs may run into the billions
  • most of these workers’ decreased performance was actually due to on-the-job deficits, i.e. 76.6% of decreased productivity in a variety of industries (including office work) was due to workers actually AT WORK. In other words, not working to their potential because of their pain and dysfunction.

Employers and employees alike take heart:  Your downtown Syracuse Chiropractor can help decrease, limit, or avoid pain in your body AND your wallet:

Work.  It’s a part of modern adult life, and it can be a pain—literally, but it doesn’t have to be.

  • Be Active as You Sit:  The body was designed to move. Despite what mother may have said, sitting up straight for prolonged periods is not good for you. A reclined position and regular postural shifts help eliminate strain, muscle fatigue and back pain.  NOTE:  If your chair has a recline tension control – and modern ergonomic chairs often do — adjust it so the backrest supports you in both upright and reclined positions.
  • Avoid Chair Locks:  Do not use a recline lock or limiter if your chair is outfitted with one. These devices restrict movement required for spinal nutrition.  Motion is life, for both humans and their spines.
  • Change It Up: You could even avoid a typical chair all together and switch it out for a wobble chair or an exercise ball like Dr. Eric uses in the office.  These different chairs force you to use your posture muscles to keep them active, which can help prevent low back injuries.
  • Minimize Reaching:  Position your mouse close to the keyboard or over the numeric keypad to minimize reaching. Adjust your mouse sensitivity so that you don’t need to lift up your mouse throughout the day.  Place your most used items within hands reach, and then some of your less used items can be more at arms length.
  • Reading Position:  To reduce neck and eye stress, you can position the top of your monitor parallel with your eyes. You can also do this for non-digital media with book stands to reduce the amount of time your neck is leaning forward while reading, especially with your phones and tablets.

What to do if you are already experiencing pain from work?

Doctors of chiropractic have extensive specialty training in the human frame and nervous system.  They’re ideal partners for employers and employees alike who wish to maximize productivity, minimize on-the-job injury, and create a healthier society.  Dr. Eric can work with you on:

  • Optimize body mechanics
  • Minimize or eliminate residuals of weaknesses and imbalances and injuries
  • Learn how to train your posture to minimize injuries
  • Develop your Breugger’s position, the optimal position for sitting
  • Learn the rules that allow you to avoid injury and be more effective — whether as a parent, a private sector worker, a member of the armed forces, a civil servant, an athlete, or simply a person desiring to live life to the fullest.

Our Syracuse Chiropractor’s role is to help you feel and FUNCTION at your best—whether you are in pain, feeling better, or feeling great.  For more information on ways to help your entire family live better, call or text the office or schedule 24/7 through our Online Scheduler. Take the first step to feeling better and healing better.

Ref: 1Stewart WF, et al. Lost productive time and cost due to common pain conditions in the US workforce.  JAMA. 2003 Nov 12;290(18):2443-54.