Office health hazards: Movement key to mitigating effects of being desk bound
Furniture company Fellowes recently commissioned an image – named Emma – of how the average office worker might look in 20 years if they didn’t stop putting in long hours at poorly set up workstatons. Here, we explore how your office habits harm your health.
This week: The back
STOOPING over the keyboard can lead the neck and shoulders to curve and stiffen and the spine to lose flexibility, creating Emma’s grossly hunched forward posture.
"I have been seeing patients with work-related back pain for 17 years and while I’ve never seen anyone look that bad, I have seen some people get close," says physiotherapist Lyndsay Hirst.
"I often say to my patients that your best posture is your next posture, meaning you need to keep moving and vary your position.
"Also, those who spend all day at a desk followed by all evening on the sofa will almost always have problems with weakness in the postural muscles that support the back, and will probably develop back pain – while those who exercise regularly will be more protected. So start exercising."
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