As experts in virtual classroom training, we spend a large chunk of our working hours at our desks behind the computer. And so do our clients.
It is common knowledge that sitting down in the same position for a long time is unhealthy.
So we thought we would give you some practical tips about healthy working practices as you work at your computer, whether you are hard at work finishing off that important report or spending a lot of time in virtual meetings.
By overusing certain muscles and limbs, a lack of rest and recovery or a faulty posture, we run the risk of irritating or damaging muscles in our arms, neck and back. This is a slow and creeping process where you may not notice the damage until it’s done. In the past, we called it Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), a term which has been used to describe a host of complaints related to muscles and limbs.
- Bad ergonomics of the work space
- Lack of variety in movement during work
- Repetitive tasks
- Too long working hours in the same position
- High workload and pressure
- Lack of autonomy in how to structure the task
- Low fitness level
- Low body-awareness
In this blog, we’ll look at muscles.
A muscle has a baseline tension, that can be increased due to stress or a bad posture. Most of us have experienced this in:
- Neck and shoulder muscles
- Jaw muscles
- Calf muscles
Often, we are not aware of this tension until we start to suffer pain.
How does it work?
Walking is a dynamic effort: blood flow to the muscles matches the need (see graph).
Working at the computer however is a static effort: blood flow is insufficient for the muscles. Oxygen supply is not enough, and waste products remain in the muscle tissue.
What you can do to keep your muscles healthy?
- A correct posture
Make sure you have a correct working posture
Remember: even if you sit ‘perfectly’ from an ergonomic point of view, being in one position for an extended period of time is unhealthy.
- Hand & mouse position
- Change position frequently
- Stretch muscles that you have tensed for a long time (shoulders, arms, neck, back)
- Get up and move every now and then
- Build in exercise into your daily routines
- Release tension from muscles (deep breathing, mini-meditation, exercise)
- Keep your next straight: ‘the text neck syndrome’
We always interested to hear more about your tips and tricks to keep healthy in the workplace, and if you want to learn more about working in a virtual environment then don’t forget to visit our website.
Image from: the Guardian
Image source: freepik.com
Fredrik Fogelberg is a chartered Organisational Psychologist specializing in leadership development and team facilitation in international organizations. He has over 30 years of international experience in the corporate world and as a consultant.