6 days ago

How to Avoid “Quarantine Screen” Pain

Does your quarantine day look like this: 9am Zoom call, 10am Google Meet, 11am Skype, 12pm grab a bite from the fridge and check on the kids, 12:30 return phone calls, 1pm More Zoom, 3pm Microsoft Team Meeting, 5pm happy hour on House Party!

If so, are you feeling it yet? Neck/upper back pain from hunching over your screen all day long? Have you thrown your back out?

It’s a strange time in history. The business world is “pivoting” to virtual. But despite the positive fact that business can go on, our bodies are suffering. Even our kids are searching for meeting links all day long as they video meet for everything from school, to ballet class, to art instruction.

The posture problem from all this screen time, is an epidemic of mass proportions. At your work place, you may rock in your chair in meetings, get up to chat in someone’s office, take a standing break at your ergonomic work station or walk to lunch with a co-worker. There used to be more movement in your day. Now we are sitting (or maybe standing) in front of screens… all…. day…. long:

This “new normal” will require a little more effort to combat this terrifying posture problem. Here are 3 quick and easy practical tips you can implement right now:

Grab a active sitting chair:

I am a big fan of moving throughout your work day. Immobility is what causes the pain the body so if you’re able to get more movement at your home desk/ counter, get it going now. You can try sitting on a ball chair, or my favorite ergo ergo chair.

Get a portable raise screen for your laptop

If your company gave you a laptop to work from home, run quickly to your favorite online site and get a raised screen for work station. Despite the convenience of laptops, the keyboard/screen set up is always going to force your head to look “down” lower than your neck can handle. This is fine for short term work, but for hours of screen calls, your neck is going to suffer.

Do some quick desk exercises throughout your day

No matter how “ergonomic” your home workstation is, it will not make up for the hours of immobility while you type and stare at the screen. Your before work or after work exercise routines will help, but nothing beats movement THROUGHOUT your day. Do a “chest stretch” at 10am, some “pelvic tilts” at 12pm, a couple of “sit to stands” at 3pm and then finish with a “calf lean” at 5pm. Need help making sure you get this done? Check out our VerticAlign desk posture coaching program that will be sure to keep you moving.

This is some pretty serious stuff. Studies how that back/neck pain will affect 80% off of desk workers at some point in their lives and can decrease productivity by 36%. The last thing you need during this stressful quarantine time is a backache to slow you down. Beat the statistics, implements these tips, and get yourself “VerticAligned”.

Please comment and tell me how you’re doing to stay pain free while in quarantine at home:

a couple of months ago

Posture, Pain and the Pelvis

These visual results are pretty stunning, don’t you think? Don’t just look at the upper back posture, also be sure to check out his pelvis.

This client was introduced to me at Sarton Physical Therapy, a premier pelvic floor physical therapy clinic that offers Posture Alignment Therapy services 2 days a week.

What is “pelvic floor physical therapy?” It’s a very specialized kind of therapy that focuses on dysfunctions of the pelvis. More on this here.

Working with clients at this physical therapy clinic requires me to think outside the box. When dealing with pelvic pain clients, there are many exercises that would normally we within the recommended postural alignment protocol, but that don’t work for someone in acute pelvic pain.

Instead I have to work around the potential pelvic pain problem and address the posture by using the concepts of the kinetic chain. We often have to choose exercises that move the body in a gentle way, instead of attacking it with challenging exercises that activate the whole body.

We eventually get there, but it takes commitment on the client’s part, and patience on everyone’s part.

Read more about Ryan’s experience here. He’s an incredibly committed client and his journey is remarkable.

a few months ago

Is Ergonomic Office Equipment Worth the Investment?

As previously covered on VerticAlign, sitting at your desk all day isn’t as harmless as it seems. Our bodies aren’t designed for long periods of inactivity; rather, we’re meant to be pushing, pulling, bending, lifting, and turning often throughout the day. This is difficult to accomplish when you’ve got a job that has you working at a desk all day, and we’ve already talked about Why a Standing Desk is NOT the Solution. Instead, companies should prioritize employee comfort by investing in more ergonomic office equipment.

What represents ‘ergonomic’ office equipment? Pain Free Working claims that there’s so much more to the word than the employees’ comfort, as it also involves improving the overall efficiency, productivity, and safety of every member of the staff. A cohesion of these physical and mental factors should improve workplace conditions.

Here are some supportive and ergonomic office equipment worth investing in:

Back Rests

Changing the entire office’s chairs can be quite expensive, but there are many backrest options available on the market. Some are even self-inflating to ensure maximum lumbar support to your desired degree. They can even be used in other environments like long commutes.

Contoured Seat Cushions

Another wise accessory for chair support is contoured seat cushions which are flexible enough to accommodate varying weights. They help evenly distribute your weight, which lessens the strain on your lower back and hips from stiff and non-adjustable seats, especially if you will be sedentary for most of the day.

Memory Foam Mouse Pad

The ideal wrist position shouldn’t be bent but kept straight to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which is one of the most common overuse injuries. There are various mouse pad options that conform to your movements and even offer gentle massages to reduce strain when needed.

Adjustable Stands

Adjusting entire desks can be a struggle across different offices. An adjustable monitor stand or riser can help you elevate your computer monitors to the right eye level. Some of these models include a second level where your keyboard and mouse can sit. There are also stands for laptop users which make typing much easier because of its adjustable degrees.

Task Light

Sitting in front of a computer all day and overworking your eyes to read the fine print of documents can cause great strain to your eyes, and can even cause eventual headaches. Shifting between reading on a screen and on paper requires different levels of light levels. A task light is beneficial in reducing eye strain as it can adjust to optimal levels of required light for different tasks.

An article on Business Insider warns that desk jobs can destroy your health. Factors don’t just include your peers and supervisors who add pressure to the equation, but also your positions and movements (or lack thereof) that put you at greater risk for muscular-skeletal disorders, obesity, heart disease, and the like. Investing in the right equipment means investing in the well-being of your people.

Of course, if you want to take better charge of your health and posture and eliminate the aches and pains that come from years of inactivity, you can start with our 10 Minute Daily Desk Pain Solution or sign up for some of coach Zeena Dhalla’s posture solutions today.

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