Simple Ways to Relieve Pain and Stress in the Workplace
If you have noticed that you tend to experience pain in the back, neck, or shoulders while working, you could definitely benefit from learning a few simple ergonomic exercises. Ergonomics can be defined as the study of human mechanics for the purpose of increasing productivity levels, which basically means that it is the science of making you more comfortable! You would be amazed at the effect that ergonomic exercises can have on curing stress and discomfort.
The most common places that employees experience discomfort is in their hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, and upper body. This is due to the fact that so many jobs require prolonged work days spent at desks and workstations that are not always designed with the employee's comfort in mind. By taking frequent breaks and performing these computer exercises every hour, you can break through pain and continue to work productively throughout the day.
During your coffee or lunch breaks, be sure to stand up and stretch your legs a bit to get your circulation going. Rotate your wrists and bend your fingers at all of the various joints. Raise your hands above your head to stretch your neck and shoulders, and also consider moving your head side to side and your shoulders up and down. Extend your arms across your body and twist side to side to stretch the upper body. To release muscle tension, consider going on a short walk outside your building. The fresh air should help to invigorate and recharge your body.
Once you are back at your desk, be sure that you continue to maintain ergonomic posture while you are working. This means that you should not sit in a rigid and uptight position, or lean forward into your screen. If you find it hard to relax while sitting at your desk, consider purchasing one of several ergonomic chairs available at local furniture stores. If your employer complains about the cost of the chair, simply bring up the high cost of worker's compensation, which should move the process right along!
If you regularly use a computer while working, be sure to practice ergonomic mousing, which means that you always keep your mouse at the same height as your keyboard and avoid letting your wrist rest on a cushion. Your forearm should be free to move the mouse in order to relieve stress on your wrist. Also try to keep the mouse right next to the keyboard to allow your forearm to rotate easily between the keyboard and mouse.
Protect Your Health
The most important thing to remember when looking for ways to avoid or relieve pain throughout the work day is to schedule regular breaks away from your desk. Plan on getting up and moving around every hour or so, and also adjusting your posture frequently while seated. By following these simple ergonomic guidelines, you can ensure your health while at the work place, as well as relieve stress and tension throughout the day.
Sharon Stage is Marketing Manager at Ergoworks. Ergoworks are available to provide ergonomic exercises training and office occupational health & safety assessment.