Take your ergo assessments a step further...

Chin Forward Posture.jpeg

People today are always looking for that quick fix. Many employees that I've met are convinced that they just need a better chair. However, for those who have other underlying causes for their pain or discomfort at work, getting a fancier chair is not enough. So here are some things to look out for if you have received an ergonomic assessment but still feel pain or discomfort.

  1. Is your chin jutting out?Oftentimes when we are thinking, concentrating, or contemplating deeply, we tend to jut our chins forward, maybe even put a finger or hand on our chins. In this posture, the muscles in the back of your neck are taut. When this position is prolonged, those muscles are constantly tight, and they end up getting fatigued, which then causes you pain.
    • Tip: If you put a small mirror by your desk, I think you would be surprised at how many times a day you hold this posture. To fix it, remember to sit with your ears over your shoulders, with your shoulders pulled back and down.
    • Exercise Tip: Do chin tucks several times a day so that your muscles develop memory for how they should behave. To do chin tucks in seated or standing, push your chin forward, and then push it all the way back. Remember to go straight back and not down - as in, don't double chin.
  2. Are your shoulders way up by your ears?When we are stressed out, our shoulders tend to be very tense, and they creep up towards our ears. This again causes pain after a prolonged time.
    • Tip: Do shoulder shrugs throughout the day to loosen them up. Before your return to your work, make sure your shoulders are relaxed, back, and down.
  3. Are you leaning forward in your chair or sitting at the edge of your chair?For those who go to meetings or are in and out of their desks a lot, perching at the edge of the seat is common. When you sit like that, the muscles in your back become tense. Next time you catch yourself sitting like that, reach a hand back and feel how tight the muscles on either side of your spine are. Again, you eventually get muscle fatigue and pain. When your back gets tired, you then hunch your shoulders forward, which then causes pain in your upper back. And when your shoulders are hunched forward, your neck has to do more work to keep your head up, causing neck pain. It's all connected.
    • Tip: Try to sit back in your chair as much as possible. Make sure your entire back is touching the back of the chair. It might cause you to slow down your work to sit like that every time you return to your chair, but the decreased amount of pain at the end of the day will be worth it. Less pain that night means less pain the next day, which means more productive work the next day. Your boss will be happy.
  4. How long have your wrists been sitting on the table surface?One of the causes of carpel tunnel syndrome is prolonged pressure on the palm side of the wrist. The carpal tunnel lies in that area and contains a nerve that services your fingers, called the median nerve. When that nerve is constantly compressed, it causes symptoms like numbness, tingling, and burning.
    • Tip: When you're reading a document on the computer, try to keep your wrists off the desk.
    • Tip: Get rid of that mouse wrist pad, or turn the mouse pad around so that your wrist is not on the wrist pad.
  5. When was the last time you moved from your workstation?I can't stress this enough times. Our bodies are not meant to stay in one position for prolonged periods of time. Our muscles get fatigued and then other muscles have to kick in until they get fatigued, and what you end up with is all-over fatigue and pain.
    • Tip: Move your body at least every hour. Keep an alarm that reminds you to move. Or check out the old Computer Timer App blog post. Do some neck rolls, push your chair from your desk and try to reach your toes, stretch your arms up, lean from side to side in your chair, go for a walk to the copy machine or bathroom, take a couple pretend jabs at the computer screen, pretend kick at the cubicle wall, etc.