I was recently looking at a study funded by the National Institute of Health. It looked at the total cost of healthcare that was related to pain. The direct cost was between $262 and 300 billion . When you factor in missed work days, work for lost time and lower wages, the cost rises to between a total of 562 billion to 635 billion dollars. Keep in mind these are estimates done in 2010, not taking into account inflation over the past eight years. [...]
Whats most alarming is that this amount of money was almost more than the annual cost for heart disease (309 billion), cancer (243 billion), and diabetes (188 billion) combined.
People have different spinal conditions that generate pain and disability. Some people have tension or migranous headaches. Some have degenerative disc and others may have herniated lumbar discs, to name a few conditions. Needless to say, regardless of what condition they suffer from, it does rob people of their ability to function and perform their jobs at the level they would like to.
Last week we discussed some strategies to manage repetitive stress injuries. These included stretches, walking breaks and movement options to help ward off some of these pain occurrences. Today lets dive into strategic ideas of setting up your workstation so that you hopefully don't get into trouble in the first place.
Lets start from the head and work our way down. first and foremost the top of the computer monitor needs to be at eye level and an arms length away from your eyes. It should also be placed right in front of you. This will prevent excess strain on the neck because your head won't be looking way up or way down. The next thing we need to look at is your arms. They should be bent to 90 degrees and resting comfortable on arm rests which should be adjustable. The keypad and mouse must be with in reach of this position. In all actuality the keypad should be slanting down so the wrists remain in a neutral position. At this point the shoulders will be relaxed and some of the pressure will be taken off the spine as a result of those arm rests. If you find you are reaching up to high to the keypad or mouse, you're going to be placing too much stress on the neck and shoulders over time. While sitting in your chair, you should be sitting upright without slumping, otherwise you may need an extra pillow behind your lower back to mid back. This slumping position will place undue stress on your intervertebral discs, muscles and fascia. The bottom of the seat pan should be comfortable where it's not compressing the back of your knee/thighs. If you feel this your seat needs to be lower without compromising the above mentioned set ups for the neck and arms. The other option is to place a phone book or small box under your feet just to raise your thighs up slightly, thereby eliminating that sensation.
Standing desks have gained a lot of popularity over the years as well. This makes sense but I feel being able to switch from sitting to standing would be the best of both worlds. Standing in one position for an extended period of time can be just as uncomfortable as sitting in one position for a lengthy period. A good rule would be to place a yoga block or telephone book in from of you to place and elevate your feet. This will take some pressure or strain from your low back and knees.
With today's micro-technology and Americans working longer and harder hours. It may be impossible to totally prevent different musculo-skeletal injuries but with good education, proper training and evidence based care, all of us may help American s work more productive and fulfilling lives.
Till next time...
Coming to you from Davidson Chiropractic where we we eliminate your pain, restore your livelihood and instill your confidence.
Please click on our live links below for the YouTube video demonstrating proper ergonomics at the workstation.
Author: Marc Fondino
"We Help People Ages 35+ In The Lake Norman Area Get Back To Their Active Lifestyle Without Medications Or Injections, Even If Other Treatments Have Let You Down."