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Desk Jobs

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Desk JobsIt used to be that being a police officer, firefighter or window washer were thought of as dangerous jobs. They still are, but they aren’t the only jobs today that can ill effects on our health. In fact, many of you have jobs that damage your bodies every day – you sit at a desk.

A 2009 study found that 50 percent or more Americans have desk jobs. Think about it, you sit at a desk, working with your keyboard and mouse probably 90 percent of the time you are there; and you do this for 40-plus hours a week! Your elbow is not supported, your shoulders are likely pitched forward which causes your head to be pulled forward, putting a strain on your neck, upper body and shoulders. And don’t forget your core, if you aren’t sitting up straight, your core also is not engaged putting pressure on the low back and spine. You’ve heard the term couch potatoes for people who are not active, well today many people are desk potatoes!

I’m concerned about your overall health, so I am going to mention that sitting all day with little overall movement can lead to weight gain and all of things that go along with that (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.). But in order to keep this short, I am going to only address how you can counter balance the effects of sitting all day.

The way many of us sit at our desks is not natural. You need to make sure your monitor is at eye level, you are sitting up straight, your elbows are at your sides and your feet should be flat on the floor. Most importantly, make sure you get up and move every hour or better yet, don’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. If you wear a pedometer to work one day, I bet you’d be surprised at how little you move during the day.

Some people choose to sit on an exercise ball while at their desks. This is great for engaging your core as long as you are sitting up straight, you will know you are doing it right if you can feel it in your core. Others choose to stand at their desks and work. Standing desks are very expensive, but you can find other, less expensive, options online. If you choose to stand while you work on your computer, be sure that your monitor is at eye level and your elbows are at your sides. It’s best to make sure your arms are bent at a 90 degree angle, your hands should not have to reach down to reach your keyboard.

I am available to come to your office and conduct ergonomic screens if you are interested. Just make an appointment with our front desk if you’d like me to visit your office to make sure computers and keyboards are positioned properly.

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