Having an ergonomic workstation means that your desk and the things on it are arranged in such a way, that they prevent injury and are well within reach and use. An ergonomic workstation also promotes good posture. Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. An ergonomically designed workstation promotes good posture and helps to:
- Keep bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
- Help decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
- Decrease the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
- Prevent the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
- Counter fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
- Prevent strain or overuse problems.
- Avert backache and muscular pain.
Proper ergonomics plays an instrumental role in how effectively you accomplish work and will help prevent suffering from work-related injuries due to strain and overuse. In the diagram below you will find both sitting and standing workstation recommendations to achieve a proper ergonomic workstation.
SITTING: Body position guidelines
- Lower back supported by a lumbar curve
- Bottom & Thighs distributed pressure
- ARMS minimal bend at the wrist
- The area behind the knee not touching the seat
- Feet flat on the floor or on a footrest
- Wrists and hands do not rest on sharp or hard edges
- The telephone should be used with your head upright (not bent) and your shoulders relaxed (not elevated)
STANDING: Working Guidelines
- Precision Work – above elbow height
- Light Work – just below elbow height
- Heavy Work – 4-6 inches below elbow height
Setting Up Your Ergonomic Workstation
Video Provided by North Lake Physical Therapy
Physical and occupational therapists have experience working with patients to improve posture and ergonomics. Some clinics have therapists that go into the workplace and arrange a patient’s workplace, making it ergonomically efficient. For more information or to find a therapist near you
Need to take a movement break? Sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your health and can lead to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and more. If you work at a desk or sit for the majority of your day, you need to schedule activity and movement breaks into your day.
We have put together a few stretches to help:
- Enhance Flexibility
- Improve Circulation
- Promote Relaxation
- Decrease Healthcare Costs
- Promote Awareness of the need for regular exercise
Movement Break Stretches You Can Do at Work!
Perform these stretches 5-10 minutes before the start of work and after any work break of more than 15-30 minutes. Our talented teams of physical therapists can work with you to create a stretching program that’s specific to the muscle groups you use during your daily work routine. Find one near you today for more information.
Looking for More?
Check out these 4 exercises you can do at home while you watch TV Small changes can make a big difference!
There is a close relationship between health and productivity. It is important to raise awareness about employee’s well-being as we celebrate National Employee Wellness Month. Many of the most effective stress control mechanisms are surprisingly physical in nature. Encouraging them in the workplace can have a positive impact on the health and productivity of workers.
So how do we overcome stress? What can we do NOW, to help keep our mental health strong?
Here are a few ways to overcome stress and put a positive spin on your day and minimize stress levels:
- Take Deep Breaths for an easy 3-5 minute exercise, sit up in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Deep breathing oxygenates your blood.
- Exercise causes your body to release endorphins and it helps clear the mind. Get up, and walk for a few minutes. If you can’t leave your desk, stretch! Stretching is a therapeutic exercise.
- Eat Right and avoid sugary, fatty snack foods. Fruits and vegetables are always a good healthy option. Keep several at your desk and enjoy them.
- Listen to Music, playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a small break and listen to your favorite tune. One recommendation is listening to ocean or nature sounds.
- Schedule Time with family or friends to combat stress and/or loneliness by calling or meeting them after work. Schedule a group lunch outing or zoom with coworkers and have it on your calendar as something to look forward to.
The physical consequences of unattended stress can be far-reaching and, at some point, become more permanent than chronic. Chronic, non-traumatic pain typically does not require surgery, but it does require the skills of an experienced physical therapist to evaluate and treat the root of the problem. FIND A PT today and schedule an appointment!
REFERENCES:www.healthsearch.com, healthline.com, helpguide.org, and article by Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com Guide
This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout February and March 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!
1. 5 Common Sports Injuries: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment
Written by Wright Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Idaho.
Sports injuries happen, and they usually occur when engaging in sports or exercise. Sports injuries can occur due to overtraining, lack of conditioning, and improper form or technique. Failing to warm-up increases the risk of sports injuries. Read more
2. The Cost of Being Sedentary
Written by The Jackson Clinics, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia.
While it might be easy to list off all of the benefits of exercising, we don’t typically talk about the cost of being sedentary. In fact, a recent study by Jama followed over 100,000 adults for more than 8 years and measured their fitness using a treadmill. The participants were arranged by age and gender into performance groups: Read more
3. Work-at-Home Pain Relief
Written by JACO Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 4 locations throughout Oahu, HI.
We have found that many of our patients are still working from home and spending more time than they anticipated working at a less-than-ideal workstation. We’ve been seeing complaints of neck pain, back pain, and wrist pain that is caused by strain from poor body mechanics while working. Read more
We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News March 2021 edition.
Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!
Postural muscles are used to prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us forward, help us maintain balance, and allow us to move effectively and efficiently. Poor posture, which can be caused by tight or weak muscles, stress, incorrect body positioning, obesity, and wearing uncomfortable shoes, puts a strain on the body and can lead to adverse health effects.
Given the potential risks of poor posture, it’s critical to understand how to improve your posture. Improved posture has been shown to improve mood, boost productivity, and reduce the risk of injury. By learning how to correctly position your body and working on strengthening relevant muscle groups, you can have a positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
The infographic below from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences highlights how to improve posture at work, whether you spend the majority of your day sitting, standing, driving, or lifting objects, and offers exercises and stretches to help strengthen postural muscles and relieve pain.
As physical and occupational therapists we have the skills to help improve your poster and evaluate your workstation. For more information find a talented team of rehabilitation specialists near you!
Created by the team at usa.edu
In the market for a new pair of safety shoes? Read this guide to find out everything you need to know about how to choose the right safety shoes for your needs.
Why Wear Safety Shoes?
If you work in a hazardous work environment, then it’s important to protect yourself against injury. In fact, 7% of wounds caused by workplace accidents are foot injuries. Yet, data from the National Safety Council reveals that many workers tend to overlook their feet with only one out of four victims of job-related foot injury wearing any type of safety shoes or boots.
Risks to Feet in the Workplace
There are two main types of foot injury that may occur as a result of a workplace accident:
- Slips and falls
- Trauma e.g. burns, cuts, punctures and impact
Depending on your workplace, your feet may face a range of different hazards. For example, electricians may be at risk of electric shock or those who work in a foundry may need protection against extreme heat. As such, the type of footwear required will depend on the particular risks associated with your working environment.
Choosing Safety Shoes
Like most shoes, you will need to pay attention to fit, comfort and support. Additionally, you will also want to look at the shoe material and the type of protection offered. Before shopping, always consult your employer for specifications and check if there are any specific safety features that you will need.
Learn More About Safety Shoes
This infographic from Walsh Brothers Shoes looks at the most common foot injuries in the workplace and outlines some of the most common risks to our feet in the workplace. It also goes on to offer advice on how to choose a pair of safety shoes that will give your feet the protection they need at work.
Scroll down to the infographic below to find out more.
This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout September 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!
1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Written by Spectrum Physical Therapy with three locations in New London County, CT.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a type of injury called a peripheral nerve entrapment. What this means is that it is a condition in which the median nerve gets compressed and irritated as it passes through a structure called the carpal tunnel, located on the palm side of your wrist. The carpal tunnel is formed by the carpal (wrist) bones and connective tissue and protects the median nerve and finger flexor tendons as they pass through the wrist. Read more
2. Tommy John Elbow Ligament Injuries in Football Quarterbacks: Why are there significantly fewer injuries than in baseball pitchers?
Written by Mishock Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout PA’s Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties.
Recently Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sustained an ulnar collateral ligament tear and subsequent surgery, ending his football season. Elbow injuries in football players are uncommon with 92% of the injuries being traumatic (contusions and dislocations), (Ortho J Sports Med 2019). Ulnar collateral ligament injuries in football quarterbacks are even more uncommon. Read more
3. Firefighter and Active Dad Gets Back to Work and Life
Written by ARC Physical Therapy+ an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations across Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa
Marcus Winstead is a firefighter, husband, and father who enjoys leading an active lifestyle with his wife and three children. “I’ve been a firefighter for 13 years”, Marcus explained. “Throughout that time, I’ve been on numerous calls and in very unique and challenging situations. As luck would have it, I was injured during a training exercise. I had two-disc injuries (protrusion and extrusion between L4-L5/L5-S1).” Read more
Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!
This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout January 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!
1. Improving your Bed & Workstation Setup can Help Reduce your Neck Pain
Written by Sport & Spine Physical Therapy with 5 physical therapy locations throughout Southern Wisconsin.
The neck has an incredibly important job to do. It supports the head and allows us to move it in a wide range of directions so that we can better navigate the world around us. But because of how frequently it’s used and its position in the body, the neck is also a very common location for pain, and sometimes all it takes is one bad night’s sleep to ruin your day. Read more
2. What is Dry Needling and How Does it Work?
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy with 12 physical therapy locations throughout Greater San Antonio.
You may have heard of acupuncture, but have you heard of dry needling? If you’re up for trying new things to help with your physical therapy, keep reading to get more information on dry needling and how it works in physical therapy. Read more
3. Rehabilitation Program Gets Man Safely Back to Work After Two Different Operations
Written by the physical therapy team at Ability Rehabilitation with locations throughout Greater Orlando and the Tampa Bay Area
Carlos needed two different surgical procedures three years apart to repair a torn rotator cuff and an injured bicep muscle. But he also had a family to support and a paycheck to earn; he didn’t have the luxury of taking an extended leave of absence from work. Read more
This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout December, 2018. Featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!
1. Shed Those Extra Holiday Pounds
Written by The Jackson Clinics with physical therapy locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.
The holidays are here once again, with all their edible temptations, and you would like to get into better shape after they have passed. This time you are determined to find an approach that will prevent frustration, keep you motivated and help you achieve your fitness goal. Read more
2. Prevent Low Back Pain While Shoveling Snow
Written by the Therapy Team at Rehab Associates of Central VA with 11 physical therapy locations throughout Central Virginia.
As I was shoveling the snow off my driveway this week, I quickly realized that I needed to adjust my technique or I was going to pay for it later. Injury can result from repetitive movements with a general lack of awareness and variability in movement and may be prevented with some easy steps. Read more
3. One Fire Captain’s Story: From a Workers’ Comp Injury to a Full Recovery
Written by the Therapy Team at ARC Physical Therapy+ with locations across Kansas, Missouri and Iowa
Bryan Bogue, the Fire Captain with the City of Independence, Missouri Fire Department was on a medical call and needed to lift a heavy bag over a concrete wall. It seemed like a fairly straightforward task until he raised his arms and felt a tendon snap in his elbow. The pain was immediate and severe. Read more
It’s that time of year, when we check in on Santa’s helpers to see if they can use some physical therapy. With their heavy lifting and high demand job they’re always experiencing injuries. Our new elf friend Ziggy, is the perfect patient for physical therapy. Let’s see how PT can help Ziggy!
Here’s part of his story…
Ziggy was working late one night in the North Pole. When all of a sudden… he lifted a large toy scooter and fell over on to his back. OUCH!
Luckily, Santa and his elves have an amazingly good north pole internet provider, and Ziggy was able to go online to the PTandMe website and find great physical therapy clinics in his area.
Now Ziggy is at one of PT & Me’s physical therapy clinics with one of our trusted therapists to help relieve him of all his back pain. He will be back to making more toys real soon, just in time for the holiday!
See Ziggy’s complete physical therapy experience here!
Special thanks to Action Physical Therapy, in Houston, TX, for accommodating the demanding work schedule of Santa’s elves. Click Here for more information about Action Physical Therapy.