Minor Aches, Major Pain: How to spot posture-related problems

Most of us accept some degree of discomfort as a part of life – especially as we age. We only take notice when the minor aches and pains become major discomfort or chronic issues. How do we know when the minor aches are an important sign that something is going wrong?

Sedentary work at a desk or computer increases the risk of problems in the back, neck and shoulders, as well as the hands, wrists, arms, elbows, and even eyes. Early symptoms are initially relieved by short breaks from work. However, if persistently ignored, the discomfort may not be alleviated by rest, and may be accompanied by other symptoms:

  • Tenderness, or a burning sensation;
  • Shooting pains, often from the wrist into the elbow;
  • Numbness or tingling;
  • Headaches;
  • Pins and needles;
  • Painful or reduced grip;
  • Swelling;
  • Muscle spasms;
  • Blurry vision, or sensitive, watery or dry eyes.

Keyboard workers are particularly vulnerable to muscular pains or problems with joints and tendons because of the prolonged static muscular effort required to support upper limbs in fixed or awkward postures during keyboard and mouse use. Key factors known to increase the risk of muscle and joint problems are:

  • Poor sitting posture – not just slouching, but also curving the back too much while sitting up straight;
  • Keying or using the mouse with arms/elbows extended forward;
  • Working too long without breaks;
  • Poor typing technique;
  • Feeling pressured or tense.

At Healthy Home Office, we believe in providing products which MOVE WITH the individual, providing a more dynamic way of sitting and working: our philosophy is, ‘The best posture is the next posture’! This involves looking carefully at how each person works; there are countless individual ways of typing, sitting, moving, etc, and we believe it’s best to experiment with height, angle and distance until you find your ideal.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Don’t ignore them anymore; take steps now to adjust your working practice to fit your body’s needs.