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Published February 6, 2019

As part of our day jobs, many of us are seated for long periods of time, without taking many breaks to get up and stretch our legs. Not only can this lead to a variety of health implications due to the dangers of sitting too much, but can be the catalyst for a variety of physical ailments leaving workers with pain, postural concerns and long term issues. The effects of long term sitting, however, can be mitigated by incorporating some easy techniques and making some minor changes to your workstation. So, read on to learn how our trusted Como Physiotherapy Clinic helps office workers stay in their best shape.

1. Office Chair Set Up

The correct setup of your workstation is crucial to ensuring your body remains in an optimal position and less subject to injury or pain. Individuals should sit as far back into their chairs as possible, with the seat height allowing feet to sit flat on the floor and the knees and hips to be perfectly aligned. The angle of the backrest should be adjusted to sit at 100° to 110° so that both the lower and upper back can remain supported. If armrests are used, ensure they sit at a height which allows your shoulders to relax (as opposed to shrugging).

2. Desk Setup

For those using a computer, the keyboard should sit directly in front of your body at a height enabling the wrists and elbows to become aligned. Some keyboards allow adjustment and have a keyboard rest, which should be utilised. Sometimes the tilt needs to be adjusted to suit how one sits or to promote healthy wrist position and posture.

Your computer screen should be positioned directly in front of you, with the top of the screen reaching between five and ten centimetres above your eye position when seated. You should allow at least one arm’s length between you and the screen and screen glare should be reduced where possible by avoiding being positioned opposite windows, by using curtains or changing the filters in the office lighting.

3. Maintain The Correct Posture

Incorrect postures implemented over time are a common cause for the incidence of lower back pain and as well as neck and shoulder problems. While seated at work, your spine should remain in a neutral position with the chin retracted rather than poked forward. If you experience discomfort, it may be that your body needs to adjust to the new position; a lumbar support cushion can be used to help you with this transition. If you are experiencing pain, however, and require a postural assessment, visit our friendly Como Physiotherapy Clinic for a thorough evaluation and further advice.

4. Deskercises

This term has been coined to represent exercises that can be performed whilst in the office to relieve pain and encourage correct posture. A variety of movements can be performed while you are at work to lengthen tight muscles and encourage blood circulation to the body. Our experienced physiotherapists can prescribe exercises specific to your condition and postural needs to help you build strength and comfort whilst at work.

If you have implemented the above advice and are still experiencing pain whilst sitting at work, book an appointment with our team of experienced physiotherapists. Como residents can feel confident with our qualified team for a personalised treatment plan to reduce their pain and improve posture today!

Leslie Trigg

Director & Senior Physiotherapist at Integrity Physiotherapy Leslie Trigg, has over 15 years of experience in clinical practice. He has graduated with a degree in Human Biology (Anatomy and Physiology) from Curtin University in 2001 and later completed a Masters of Physiotherapy in 2007. He has tremendous experience in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic, neurosurgical and sports physiotherapy. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, listening to music and spending time with his family.