Normally, when you think about New York sports physical therapy, you picture athletes who work and play hard. Any long-time office worker can tell you that being a desk jockey has its perils as well. Rising insurance costs and absenteeism have led many employers to take a second look at the effects of a sedentary work environment. Putting an emphasis on ergonomics and employee wellness is a start, but there are some things you can do on your own to make work more pleasure than pain.

The Most Common Office Injuries

Back Injuries

Activities like lifting heavy boxes or sitting incorrectly for long periods can cause back pain, neck strain and alignment problems. In order to prevent such injuries, you should practice good form when sitting at your desk, get help when moving office furniture or lifting heavy objects and lift with a straight back while putting the majority of the weight on your legs instead of your back. Other ways to reduce work-related neck, back and leg strain include:

– Using a foot rest under the desk to ease circulation problems
– Purchasing office furniture that has proper lumbar support
– Furnishing chairs and desks that have adjustable height

Ideally, the back and seat of the chair should be adjustable,. Desks should also be at such and height and distance that the employee doesn’t have to reach, hunch or strain to use computers. Monitors should be at a height and angle that allows the employee to look at them straight on instead of having to crane to see them.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Constant typing, writing and mouse clicking can lead to potentially permanent problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries. This is another area where equipment design and proper usage can go a long way toward reducing injuries. Keyboards that are ergonomically designed and have featur4es like wrists pads can help boost comfort and productivity. Other tips include:

– Making sure to take short but frequent breaks throughout the day
– Placing items on the desk so that they’re within easy reach
– Furnishing employees with staplers and other desk accessories that don’t require a lot of pressure to use
– Using correct posture when seated, answering the phone or using the computer
– If your chair has an arm rest, adjust it so that you arms are slightly elevated at the shoulder when at rest

Injuries From Slips and Falls

Slip and fall injuries aren’t only the bane of restaurant and warehouse workers. In fact, this is the number one, most common office injury, accounting for more than 1/5 of all workplace accidents. Most of the solutions to this hazard involve common sense practices like clearly marking wet floors, keeping stairwells and aisles clear and using accessories to reel in excessive wiring and computer cables. When using step stools or ladders, make sure that they’re on a stable foundation and maintain a two-feet rule when standing on them.

It’s estimated that more than 30 million working days are lost every year due to illness and injury. That’s a lot of productivity going to waste, and employers are taking the loss of human and financial capital to heart. Diligence on the part of the staff and the company can reduce risk and improve quality of life for workers.

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