Gateway Gazette

Maybe your teacher was right. . .Work Smart; proper posture at work brings back benefits

9 out of 10 people suffer from back pain linked to poor desk habits. (CNW Group/Fellowes Canada Ltd.)
(CNW Group/Fellowes Canada Ltd.)

TORONTO, Dec. 27, 2014 /CNW/ – With 2015 fast approaching, improving your overall health and wellness will be at the forefront of people’s minds. Many will try to quit smoking, eat healthier and exercise. But what most people will overlook is how they can improve their overall wellbeing by changing how they work.

Did you know the average person spends approximately 25% of their time at work and approximately seven hours a day in front of a computer screen? Have you ever considered the health implications this might be causing on your body? Fellowes Canada found almost 7 out of 10 people experience back pain while working at their desk and 50% experience neck strain, eye strain or headaches. They also found 19% of work-related back pain is caused by improper posture while sitting.

“With the latest trend showing shared workspaces and working from home on the rise, 62% of people working from home are using their kitchen table as their office, as a result more and more Canadians are suffering from pain caused by how they work,” says ergonomist Dr. Andrew Sulatycki. “Sitting properly at your desk can actually protect you from stress injuries.”

Besides promising to eat healthier and work out more often, why not include a New Year’s resolution that can help kickstart a healthier you at work?  Here are a few tips from Dr. Sulatycki to improve your overall health and wellbeing:

Avoid Back Pain

  • Keep feet on the floor or on a foot support
  • Your back should touch as much of the chair as possible

Avoid Wrist Pain

  • Position computer keyboard and mouse closer and lower to you
  • Keep forearms approximately parallel to the floor with elbows at 90 degree angle

Avoid Neck Pain, Eye Strain and Headaches

  • Position top section of the computer screen just below eye level
  • Viewing distance should be about “an arm’s length away” from screen

Environment

  • Get clutter up and off your desk and onto walls or partitions
  • Use an air purifier to remove indoor air pollutants and breathe easier (your indoor air may be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoors)

SOURCE Fellowes Canada Ltd.

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