Do you have a full time desk job? In today's society, only approximately 20% require physical activity- this has gone down from the 50% of active jobs back in 1960. This means that in today's world 80% of the United States work force holds a job which requires very little to no physical activity. In fact, many people sit at desk all day and answer phones, type on the computer and handle paperwork. Not only has this aided the escalation of obesity in America, but it can also be tough on the body if you are not careful to prevent injury. You may be thinking, how can I be prone to injury if I am sitting behind a desk all day? Actually, typing consistently on a keyboard or holding a phone to your head all day can also be harmful to the body.
Here at Kirk & Teff, LLP, we have handled countless work related injury cases and we know the toll that it can take on your body. If you have suffered an injury due to the repetitive motion required at your desk job, speak with an Albany workers' compensation lawyer at our firm today to find out if you are eligible for compensation.
The truth with these types of work injuries is that they develop over time and they may not be completely noticeable right away. Your injury could become more severe if you make the same movements over an extended period of time. Don't be mistaken, these injuries may seem minor at first, but they could takes months to treat and correct and they could leave irreparable damage. If you are just now beginning to feel the symptoms of a work injury, follow these simple steps so you can work your way to a pain free work environment.
- Make sure that you have sufficient elbow room- It is better for your elbows to be tucked in at your sides than for them to be stretched out in front of you. In order to do this you need to make sure that your chair is wide enough and you have enough room for your elbows to hang in a relaxed position.
- Be sure to have the proper back support- If you are sitting in a chair for eight hours at a time, then it vital that your chair provides ample back support, especially in the lower back region. If you chair does not meet this need, then you can look into getting a lower back support device to attach to the chair. Having a backrest there to support your spine is extremely important.
- Keep the circulation running in your legs- In order to ensure that you get good blood circulation going through your legs throughout the day, you must look at the height of your chair. If your feet are unable to touch the ground, then you should look into lowering it or getting a foot stool of some sort to rest your feet on. You should also make sure that there is approximately a three finger space in between the edge of your chair and the inside of your knee.
- Position your computer monitor correctly- If you are sitting in front of a computer all day, then you should check to see if the monitor is directly in front of you so you are looking straight ahead. You should refrain from leaning forward to see the screen because this cause a strain in your lower back.
- Keep everything within arm's reach- If you type on a keyboard and talk on the phone, you should make sure that the keyboard, the mouse and the phone are all within close proximity. This helps so that you don't have to overextend your arm or elbow throughout the day.
- Be sure that you are typing on a flat surface- When you are typing on a keyboard all day, it is important to protect your wrists. In order to this, you should probably invest in wrist support and ensure that your keyboard is completely flat and not lying at an angle. The position of the wrists is very important and by typing at a weird angle you could strain your forearms develop carpal tunnel in your wrists- this can be very painful and could restrict your range of wrist motion.
- Try to take breaks to stretch- Sitting for eight hours can cause muscle tension, especially in the arms, neck, shoulders and lower back. That is why you should try to get up occasionally to stretch out those muscles. These mini exercise breaks can be more helpful than you think.
- Talk using a headset rather than an ordinary phone- If you talk on a regular phone at your day job, then you are not able to have complete range of motion in the head, neck and shoulders. It is especially harmful if you rest the phone between your ear and shoulder all day so that you can type at the same time. Talk to your employer about using a headset that you are not straining any of your muscles and your hands are freed to type and do other tasks.
Remember that sitting behind a desk does not mean that you are safe from injury. Be sure that you are aware of what your body needs and how you can prevent injury in the future. Contact Kirk & Teff, LLP today by calling (888) 799-3857 to schedule your free initial consultation.