Host: Today we’re talking about an important topic: posture.
Louis-Simon: More specifically, posture on the job. Office work in front of a computer is becoming increasingly common. It’s more productive and more effective, but it also causes more injuries because we are seated for extended stretches in poor postures.
The injuries sustained from prolonged positions include neck pain, headaches and pain in the shoulders, wrists and elbows that can lead to tendinitis. What we want to do is correct this poor posture.
Host: What should we do to avoid these injuries?
Louis-Simon: Screen height is also an important factor. If the screen is too high, you will tend to have cervical extension, which will cause neck problems. Your anatomical structures will be compressed. Over time, this can be harmful, triggering pain in the upper limbs, including in the hands, wrists and elbows.
Maintaining a good position in your chair can prevent this pain. When you focus on the computer screen, you often lean forward away from your seat back because we tend to want to be closer to the screen. It is important to keep your back firmly against the back of your chair at all times. This is the only thing that can correct your posture and relax the muscles in the neck, back and shoulders. It will make you less tense.
It is important to know that there are several anatomical structures in the neck that can refer pain to the shoulder, elbow or wrist. This means that arm pain may come from poor cervical posture that irritates your arm.
Host: That’s when we ask ourselves, “What did I do to have pain in this spot? I didn’t do anything strenuous.”
Louis-Simon: Exactly. This is the kind of injury that often happens with prolonged poor posture. It’s not traumatic. It’s simply because tension in these structures builds up over time.
Armrests are also important.
Host: We don’t have any here in the studio because it’s more convenient for us not to have any, but at a desk, it’s important.
Louis-Simon: Yes, it does depend on the workplace. For a secretary who has to write at the computer for several hours or even a few minutes, armrests are important because they create less tension in the shoulders, elbows and wrists.
I have some exercises I can suggest that will be on Facebook and on our website. Every hour, people should stand up or even sit in their chair and do exercises or stretches to prevent numbing and avoid compressing the structures for too long, which will prevent this kind of problem.
Host: That will make for a better day on the job! If it persists, should we see a physical therapist?
LOUIS-SIMON: The goal of this series is to prevent, but if you see that you are struggling to maintain good posture and your pain persists, come see us. We will assess the problem and its source and treat you accordingly.