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4 Posture Ailments Caused by Desk Life (And How to Fix Them)

Poor posture is more common than most people realize and it contributes to a lot of different aches, pains, and even chronic conditions. These issues can be exacerbated if your poor posture habits stem from your work environment because you spend a lot of your day there. Often, people don’t take the time to set their workspace for ideal posture. They may not be fully aware of how things should be positioned or how off their posture really is until it results in pain.

The good news about bad posture is that a few tweaks in the way you position yourself can help alleviate nags and pain. Additionally, exercise or other activities like yoga also help to stave off problems. Here are four common problems that office workers face and some simple ways to alleviate the symptoms.

Eye and Visual Issues

You might not equate eye issues with poor posture but they’re one of the most common problems associated with office work.

Symptoms might include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Worsening vision
  • Chronic headaches

Some causes include poor lighting, too much computer screen time, poor positioning of the computer, poor posture, and the need for glasses while working on a computer.

Ways to alleviate eye strain:

  • Make sure your office environment has proper lighting
  • Re-position your computer or seating for better posture
  • See an eye doctor test your vision
  • Wear the proper prescription glasses, if needed
  • Some people also find relief with blue light blocker glasses
  • Take frequent breaks from the computer screen to let your eyes rest
  • Stand up and stretch or take short walks during the day

Neck Pain

Neck pain is often caused by the way that your workstation is set up and the improper posture you use while sitting in an office. In fact, it’s most common to see workstations set up with a monitor that’s much lower than your line of vision – your head will automatically tilt forward for better vision and that positioning causes neck strain. Neck pain can also be caused by poor back posture or issues with your spine itself, such as a pinched nerve or bulging disk.

Ways to alleviate neck pain:

  • Make sure your workstation is set up properly. This might include raising your computer screen or opting for a standing desk, rather than a traditional desk.
  • Get up and stretch or move at regular intervals, at least once every hour.

Wrist or Hand Pain

Issues with your hands, such as wrist pain or numbness of the fingers can be commonly associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, though in some cases it might simply be the way you’re positioning your keyboard and mouse.

Ways to alleviate wrist and hand pain:

  • Pay attention to the activities that seem to cause pain
  • Make small changes to the way you do things, such as holding the mouse or re-positioning your arm
  • Make a conscious effort to relax your shoulders, arms, and extremities during rest periods.
  • See an upper extremity specialist if the pain is extreme or unyielding

Sciatic Pain

Sciatic pain is one of the most common types of back injuries and one that takes the longest to heal. It is often caused or exacerbated by poor posture. This pain stems from the lower back but the pain runs down the back of one leg, usually from the buttock to the back of your knee and it can be extremely painful, even immobilizing.

Ways to alleviate sciatic pain:

Frequently, people who deal with sciatic pain will find that it’s chronic because the underlying cause is in the spine. However, there are exercises you can do to diminish these symptoms and stave off future flareups.

Proper posture isn’t always going to be your default position. Most people don’t even think about it until they already have some sort of issue or pain stemming from poor posture habits. Paying some attention to how you stand and sit will alleviate future symptoms. As always, if symptoms are severe or don’t decrease in a reasonable amount of time, schedule a visit with a primary care doctor or a specialist here at Ogden Clinic.