• Dr. Nicole Knapp

Is your Desk Job Harmful to Your Health?

Do you sit at a desk all day? As an office worker, you likely find yourself sitting at your desk and staring at a computer screen for long periods of time. Maybe you even catch yourself hunched over a keyboard.

If you sit at a desk or in a cubicle for eight or more hours a day, you need to be mindful of the harmful health effects. Headaches, neck aches, lower back pain, stiff shoulders, and sore wrists are common symptoms associated with sedentary desk jobs.

Even though poor posture and prolonged periods of sitting put strain on your spine and can be harmful to your health, there are things you can do to reduce and alleviate the negative effects.

Chiropractic Tips for Office Workers

The following are a few chiropractic tips for office workers:

  1. Invest in a Chair that Fits You: Invest in office equipment that fits your body and purchase a comfortable chair that you can adjust so that you can sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. Your chair needs to support your back, legs, and arms properly. Consider an ergonomic chair that is designed to minimize strained sitting positions.

  2. Redesign Your Desk Layout: Everything should be within comfortable reach. Your keyboard should be at elbow level to avoid straining your wrists. Try to type softly to reduce the stress on your fingertips. Ensure that your monitor is at eye level. You can always purchase an adjustable monitor stand to raise your monitor to the proper height. Zoom in on the computer screen instead of straining to read the text. When you move your mouse, make sure you move your whole arm. Avoid resting your hand on the mouse for long periods of time.

  3. Take Breaks Regularly: At a minimum, take a break and get up from your desk every hour. If possible, aim to stand or walk around every 30 minutes. Just standing for a few minutes without leaving your cubicle can help lessen the impact of a desk job. While on a break, try to relieve stress and tension by moving around and stretching your muscles. If you have time during your lunch, try to take a brief walk. Sitting for long periods of time not only leads to back and neck pain, but also a range of serious medical conditions (ex: obesity, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol levels).

  4. Eat Healthy and Drinks Lots of Water: Breakfast is essential to starting your day right. If your stomach is full, your focus and concentration will be much better. Plus, a balanced breakfast helps jump start your metabolism and helps prevent unhealthy snacking habits throughout the day. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Getting up to refill your water is a great excuse to take a break and move around a little. Consider packing your own lunch instead of eating out on a regular basis. A homemade lunch will be much healthier and will likely save you money in the long run. If you love snacks, make them healthy – fruit, yogurt, carrot sticks, hummus and veggies, etc.

  5. Visit Your Chiropractor Regularly: Your lifestyle significantly impacts your health and how often you should see your chiropractor. If you are a busy professional who has to sit a desk all day, schedule routine adjustments to keep your body aligned and functioning well. An adjustment can take as little as 10 minutes and makes a great excuse for you to actually take your lunch break instead of working through it!

Even if you have a desk job that requires you to sit for eight or more hours a day, these five chiropractic tips can help you lessen the harmful effects of a sedentary job. Add these five tips to your daily routine to improve your overall health and alleviate the possibility of back and neck pain.

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