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Sharing insights: Lockdown Injury Trends

Living during lockdown has been a struggle for some, while others liberated by the lifestyle change. Offices have moved into the home also bringing sedentary behaviours which don’t always complement our physical well-being; however exercise is now generally more accessible and more of us are enjoying its many benefits. Over the course of the month we will be touching on identified injury trends presented over the lockdown period, support your management of any pains or discomfort, and gain an understanding for the prevention of creating or worsening symptoms.

Working from home

Remote working allows us to remain connected and productive. Variable by the set-up, postural awareness and conditioning of the person, the associated sedentary behaviour has risk of enduring prolonged periods of poor posture, potentially causing pain and discomfort

Here are 5 practice tips for a better desk experience

1. Practice good posture

The body naturally conditions itself to the environment it is frequently exposed to. It is important to ensure best basics are rehearsed throughout the day to lower the prevalent risk of poor posture, and bringing about pain and discomfort.

  • When sitting at your desk, place your feet flat on the floor and keep your back flush against the chair. Your head should be in a neutral position with the ears directly above your shoulders.

(See Types of Lumbar Support and Ergonomic Office Chairs)

  • To help avoid rounding your lower back, which in turn can cause your head and shoulders to slump forward, adjust your chair’s height to allow your thighs to angle down slightly. This position keeps your weight ideally distributed through your sit bones, located on the lower portions of your hips.

2. Adjust monitor height and keyboard placement

Place your computer monitor directly in front of you with the centre of the screen level with your nose. If the monitor is too low, you will angle your head downward and increase stress on your neck. If you work primarily on a laptop, use a secondary monitor if possible.

  1. Position the keyboard close enough to you so your elbows are bent approximately 90 degrees when typing.

  2. Set the keyboard high enough so you aren’t forced to slump down through your shoulders to touch the keys.

  3. Place the mouse at the same level as the keyboard.

(See Ergonomic Tips for Synchronizing Your Workstation and Office Chair)

3. Stand more

The longer the time spent in sitting, the more difficult to hold good posture. Aim to spend an hour or more on foot that would be spent in a chair.

Using a standing desk or standing during more of the workday can help to promote better posture. As simple as sitting in a chair may be, it can be fatiguing and contradictory to maintain good spinal health.

4. Limit phone screen use

People tend to bend their heads forward even further when looking at phones and tablets, especially observed when touchscreen texting or email.

Holding such a head-forward posture for prolonged periods can cause painful muscle strains short term and may contribute to disc or joint injuries in the long term.

  • When possible, answer emails through a desktop computer rather than a phone, as this offers the best chance for good posture.

  • Remain aware of your posture. Stretch and liberate yourself from still held positions and encourage movement whenever possible.

5. Walk around

Walk around your working area every half hour to reduce the risk of developing back, neck, and/or shoulder pain from sitting. Referring to frequent movement may lower the prevalence of body achiness or tightness developing.

One way is to set a reminder on your phone to recur every 30 minutes. Even if it may not be possible to do so at the time, the cue will develop your awareness of time spent inactive.

Exercises to help

Chin Tucks

  • Start standing straight up

  • Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin back towards your neck

  • Hold for 10 seconds before returning to a neutral position

  • Repeat for a total of 10 times, or as tolerated.

Wall Angels

  • Start standing straight up

  • Encourage hips, shoulders, head, hands and elbows (as much as possible) towards the wall

  • Glide arms up and down the wall maintaining good postural focus

  • Repeat for a total of 10 times, or as tolerated.

Shoulder Retractions

  • Start in a standing or seated position

  • Rotate the upper arm outward while squeezing shoulder blades together

  • Hold for 10 seconds and slowly releasing the shoulder back around until resting under the ear line

  • Repeat for a total of 10 times, or as tolerated.

Complete the circuit before opting to repeat up to 3 times per go. Allow the movements to be more for release and correction when deciding on the tempo and intensity of each action. Exercises can be done standing, seated or laying face down, varying intensity and accommodating access.

We hope by trying one or more of these tips you may enjoy a healthier and more productive day. For further support specific to you please contact us: or simply call on: 01908 973090 to connect with one of our specialists.

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