In 2017/18 the HSE reported an average of 14 days were taken off work per musculoskeletal problem. That’s a huge amount of time especially when more often than not the problem may well have been prevented or dealt with quickly with the right input. For all office workers regularly completing a workstation (desk) assessment and addressing any red flags is good practice. A well set up workstation that’s comfortable, together with varying tasks where possible and taking regular breaks can all help to keep people pain free and working well, reducing the need for time off work and/or any physio!
The problem is that for many of us, we think that we’ve set things up well but are unaware that someone else may have sat at our desk and tweaked things. Sometime we change, possibly the height of the heels we’re wearing, adding a new task which requires us to put paperwork in a different position/be on the phone more, or we think that if we’re hot desking it’s a waste of time as we won’t be sitting in the same place tomorrow… Whatever the reason a small change to a good set up can impact our bodies especially if we are sitting for a long period of time without regular breaks.
So my advice would be:
- Great posture is vital
- Take regular micro-breaks approximately every 45-60 minutes or more frequently if required
- Always ensure that your workstation is well set up for you when you sit at it, whether you’re hot desking, working from home or in the office. Make sure you know how to do this.
- If possible vary your tasks throughout the day.
- If you’re having problems and you can’t identify why, call or email me.
I am a physiotherapist. I treat all musculoskeletal aches and pains including back and neck pain, work related problems and sports injuries. I also carry out on-site workstation assessments and have a special interest in the occupational health side of things.
I regularly carry out Display Screen Equipment/workstation assessments for different companies both in their offices and with home workers. The majority of people immediately notice the improvement in their comfort at their desk with the adjustments that I make while I’m on site. Sometimes it just takes an additional piece of equipment to bring the pain free state and very occasionally, if the workstation is well set up but the person is still having problems, some physio or other medical input is required.
So you may be asking, how can this be of benefit for me? I work on a laptop and spend a lot of time driving? I’ve done my own assessment and it all seems to be set up well but my neck still hurts?
- Well I can check your car set up and look at you at you working with your laptop. There are lots of options and different working set ups. Just email me to find out how I can help.
- UNTIL THE END OF MARCH 2019 I AM OFFERING DSE ASSESSMENTS (with a 10 mile radius of Salisbury) FOR JUST £80 (normally £180).
You may not be sure whether the problem you’ve got is directly related to your work however I would suggest that if it gets worse as the working day or week goes on and is better at the weekends, then it may well be. Problems that can be work related include neck and low back pain, shoulder, elbow, wrist and thumb/finger problems. Sometimes knee pain and hip pain can also be present due to seating issues. If you think you have set up your workstation well but pain is still present you may need treatment. Physios are used to treating these kind of problems on a day to day basis so I would recommend booking into see one sooner rather than later.
- NHS physio appointments are usually available during the working day which means time off work to attend which is not ideal if you’re working. I can offer appointments outside 9-5 both before and after work during the week.
If you’d like to find out more about these offers or have any questions please do either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07984203698.