Simple steps – like using a telephone headset and positioning your body correctly – can help avoid common issues like neck and back pain that can come from poor workplace ergonomics.

Simple steps – like using a telephone headset and positioning your body correctly – can help avoid common issues like neck and back pain that can come from poor workplace ergonomics.

Does your work hurt?

Best practices help prevent workplace injury

When you spend one-third of your day at work, it’s essential that work doesn’t become a pain.

Regardless of the work you do, doing it properly is key to avoid common issues like back pain and repetitive strain injuries. The good news is that early awareness and a few simple steps can help address issues before they become significant.

“Ergonomics really is something people have to be conscious about,” says Dr. Aren Giske, an occupational medicine physician with Kaiser Permanente. And remember that at the end of the day, “if it feels wrong, it probably is.”

What is repetitive strain? When someone regularly makes the same movement in a way that is awkward or uncomfortable for their body, over time it can cause pain and inflammation. Everyone from factory workers to office administrators are susceptible, but paying attention to ergonomics can reduce the likelihood of strain.

  1. Posture perfect: In this area of Washington State, Dr. Giske often sees repetitive strain connected with office and computer work, for example, so it’s essential to pay attention to your posture at the keyboard: A good neutral position for your back, with feet flat on the floor with your head and body square to the keyboard and screen.
  2. The right tools: Look for a chair that is adjustable to suit your body for the type of work you will be doing, including your height, arms and back.
  3. Good habits: Avoid cradling the phone in your neck – try using a headset or speaker phone if you often need to use the phone and keyboard at the same time.
  4. Change it up: Frequent use of a mouse and keyboard can create discomfort in the thumb, hand, arm and elbow. Try switching your mouse to the opposite side for awhile, Dr. Giske suggests. While it may feel awkward initially, it will give your muscles a rest before they become more inflamed. Specialty keyboards are also an option, but the best practice there is simply to use the design that feels most comfortable to you.
  5. Get moving: Try to stand up to stretch or even take a quick walk, just to give your body a break every so often – “anything to break that static posture,” Dr. Giske says, suggesting people program reminders onto their phones or fitness trackers. Standing desks can be another good option, provided that people remember to use the standing option, in addition to an overall activity level away from the office.

When should you seek medical care? “I would suggest people seek medical treatment when a situation becomes more than a minor annoyance that doesn’t go away within a day or two,” Dr. Giske says. “If we catch things earlier rather than later, we can recommend adjustments that can prevent more serious concerns, and help keep people safely working.”

***

Recognized as one of America’s leading healthcare providers and not-for-profit health plans, Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. Learn more at kp.org/share.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

When working at the computer, try to maintain a good neutral position for your back, with feet flat on the floor and your head and body square to the keyboard and screen.

When working at the computer, try to maintain a good neutral position for your back, with feet flat on the floor and your head and body square to the keyboard and screen.

More in Marketplace

Dr. Kyle Jordan
Local doctor offers 5 tips for better care of chronic conditions

Set clear goals, coordinate your care and track information for more effective primary care visits.

Nutrition Hacks MCT Oil main image
Nutrition Hacks MCT Oil Reviews – Pure Organic Medium Chain Triglycerides?

Nutrition Hacks has launched a new MCT oil formula. According to the… Continue reading

Fungus
Triple Fungus Blast Review: Naturally Remove Toenail Fungus?

Triple Fungus Blast is a daily supplement that improves the immune system’s… Continue reading

Pure Immunity main image
Pure Immunity Super Shake Reviews: Organic Immune System Aid

Pure Immunity super shake is an organically sourced broad-spectrum health booster containing… Continue reading

Homeowners Chris Shin and Nicole Appell have unterdaken a lot of renovations over the past few years, but their new kitchen countertops from Granite Transformations are a favorite.
From sautéing to schoolwork, this renovated kitchen really cooks

This cost-effective solution delivers both value and long-lasting good looks

Best CBD for Dogs
Best CBD for Dogs – Buyers Guide (2020 Update)

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s the primary active ingredient in the cannabis… Continue reading

Meticore Review
Meticore Reviews: Does it Work for Weight Loss?

Everyone thinks that a few extra pounds pose no harm. After all,… Continue reading

Comcast Corporation has launched the Comcast RISE program to help strengthen and empower Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses hard hit by COVID-19.
BIPOC-owned small businesses in Kirkland may now apply for support from Comcast RISE

Get marketing consultations, media placements, commercial creative production or technology services

Comcast Corporation has launched the Comcast RISE program to help strengthen and empower Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses hard hit by COVID-19.
Bothell and Kenmore BIPOC small businesses may now apply for support from Comcast RISE

Get marketing consultations, media placements, commercial creative production or technology services

Carina believes everyone deserves compassionate care and they’re helping bring it closer to home for you and your loved ones!
Find a homecare match, right here in King County

Carina homecare offers a safe and affordable alternative to long-term care

Dr. Chen-Milhone is accepting new patients at Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) Totem Lake. Make an appointment today!
A wellness legacy inspires care for all ages

Partners in health: A strong doctor-patient relationship brings custom solutions

More than 30 different community hubs in Washington state will be equipped with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” over the next few months to help students get online, participate in distance learning, and do their homework.
Comcast will launch WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in King County

Comcast launches 30 WiFi-Connected ‘Lift Zones’ in Washington, including 10+ King County locations