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Work Station Assessments - The White Collar Remedy
Let’s face it- the human body is simply not built for office work. For the better part of human evolution, our hunter gatherer ancestors spent most of their time either on their feet, or lying down to rest. Sitting, the position assumed for working in front of computers and at desks is a relatively new phenomenon, and our bodies aren’t quite adept at being in this position for very long. This is a problem, as white collar workers spend at least 8 hours of every single work day in this position, and sure as rain, the human body responds with pain, aches, stiffness, soreness, and general discomfort from being contorted in this highly unnatural way. There are several things that can be done to alleviate the symptoms, and to fight their causes as well. Let us take a look first at what can be done to manage the discomfort of office work.
Alleviating The Symptoms
Massage can help with the aches and pains associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Massage works through manually stimulating the muscles in the body, increasing the blood flow to the area that is being handled. This will reduce the stiffness of the muscle, and place it in a healthy position. Being contorted to sitting will cause the muscles in the back and neck to become painful, usually from stiffness. Being massaged will cause that stiffness to disappear, making the neck and back muscles softer and suppler, thus the pain that goes along with stiffness is also reduced.
Tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are also some of the risks that go along with office work. These symptoms can also be alleviated through massage, as the increased blood flow will also help in healing these problems as well. Regular massage sessions can also help in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome from ever occurring, so massage can be prescribed as a preventative sort of medicine as well. Massage does not just treat the muscles, but also the nerves, tendons, ligaments and can even help with the proper alignment of bones such as the spine or shoulders. Massage is also effective at removing waste materials from the muscle tissues, such as lactic acid, which if it builds up can cause constant nagging pains.
This is how massage can treat the symptoms felt from office work after they occurred. But what about assessing the roots of the problem itself?
Ergonomics is the study of the natural positions of the human body. It is the science of making things accessible and comfortable for the human body. One of the many applications it has is the redefining of office workstations. How far and at what angle a keyboard, a monitor, or a chair is can be the cause of extensive pains and even physical damage over time. Having your workstation analyzed by a professional ergonomist can prevent this from occurring as they can give you suggestions on what to do and what not to do, in order to make your office align more to your body, and to have the tools you use everyday in positions that will not cause pain and potential damage to occur over time.
This is why consulting with physical therapists is important if you have a sedentary lifestyle. By keeping healthy and getting plenty of exercise, you can make sure that problems are less likely to occur, but these activities are in and of themselves not enough. Eventually, you will start to feel the aches and pains associated with office work, and the only way to prevent them from occurring is through a stable workstation that fits you ergonomically.