Written by: Jan Earl de Chavez BKin-AT, CAT(C)
During the past few months, the global pandemic caused a lot of changes to everyone’s lives. Students found themselves studying and being tested at home for their courses. Jobs were modified to be able to be done remotely through video conference. Of course, a lot of people found themselves with more free time, which some spent on entertaining themselves with hobbies. Regardless of the reason, a sizeable majority are now engaging in prolonged sitting behind a desk whether for school, work or entertainment. This article is gives tips for practicing the best posture and body positions for you when sitting for a long time.
1) Chair height
Ensure that your chair is high enough that your forearms are parallel with the keyboard and mouse. If raising your chair causes your feet to no longer touch the floor, then I suggest investing in a foot rest or a stool. Otherwise your feet will have the tendency to cross over each other for support.
2) Monitor adjustments
The top of the monitor on your desk should just be a little bit higher than your eye level, and should be at least half a metre away from your eyes. If you are on a laptop, refer to the next tip for posture, but also ensure the screen is the right distance away from you.
The best posture when working behind a desk is sitting upright with the neck straight and chin tucked. Shoulders are relaxed, forearms resting on the arm rests. It is important to correct yourself every time you begin to slouch, otherwise you will slouch more and more. Also note that sitting upright does not mean arching your back all the way. Sitting upright is just adjusting how your hips are sitting on the chair by rotating it.
4) Take breaks
Long periods of sitting can lead to muscular or joint issues. It is important to take a short walk and stretch break for 5 minutes every hour, or 10 minutes every hour and a half of sitting. Don’t forget to also move your upper body around. Breaks can also help with resting your eyes from all the screen time.
5) Keyboard and Mouse
If you utilize your keyboard a lot for work or entertainment, ensure that it is helps not hinders your performance. The keyboard should have a wrist rest so that your wrists remain straight when pressing keys. The same goes if you utilize your mouse a lot. Your mouse pad should have a wrist rest, alternatively you can place a small rolled up towel underneath your wrist to keep straight.
These are just some tips to keep in mind when sitting behind a desk. A lot of today’s equipment such as chairs and desks can be adjusted to provide its user the most comfort and ensure productivity.
If you developed issues from prolonged sitting, I may be able to assist through athletic therapy treatments. Come visit me at Insahyu Training + Therapy, located at 250 Saulteaux Crescent, or you can visit our website and book online.
Written by: Emilie Smale, Certified Athletic Therapist
The shoulder is a very mobile joint comprised of many muscles, ligaments, and tendons. With so many different structures in a small space, impingement and pain in the shoulder is very common. Your shoulder is made up of three bones; your upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). The three bones are held together with ligaments and supported by muscles. The muscles that are primarily involved in shoulder impingements are the rotator cuff muscles. A shoulder impingement is when there is decreased space between the top point of your shoulder blade (acromion) and the rotator cuff tendons. This decreased space causes rubbing/friction, resulting in pain, decreased range of motion, and often decreased strength due to pain.
his injury is common in all ages. It is seen most often in sports where the arm is overhead, such as volleyball, swimming, and baseball. Have you been remodeling your house during quarantine? It is also seen in people who frequently do activities such as painting and construction due to the overuse of overhead motions. It has also been seen in people who do a lot of computer work caused by a slouched, internally rotated shoulder position.
Things to look for if you suspect a shoulder impingement injury:
This injury can be frustrating for the individual to live with as it may hinder many activities of daily living. Luckily, there is hope. Once you have been diagnosed with this injury, your treatment plan will most likely involve a combination of heat, massage, and postural corrective exercises. See below for a variety of exercises to try to rehab a shoulder impingement. These exercises will help strengthen the upper back and posterior shoulder muscles, helping to keep your shoulders pulled back and out of that impinged position.
Prone I Y T
Laying face down, tuck your chin in and pull your shoulder blades back. Try to keep shoulders out of a shrugged position and away from your ears.
Banded External Rotation
Anchor your band next to your uninjured arm. Reach across your body to grab the band with your injured arm. Keeping your elbow at a 90-degree angle, shoulders pulled back and down, and your elbow tucked into your side, pull the band across your body and slowly return to the starting position.
With your back to a wall, place your shoulder blades, bent arms, and low back flat against the wall. Slowly slide your arms up the wall, maintaining contact, as if making a snow angel. Only lift your arms to a comfortable position, then slowly slide back down to the starting position.
This injury often involves tight chest (pectoral) muscles pulling your shoulder forward into an impinged position. Try this stretch to help increase the flexibility of your pectoralis muscles.
Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists and Certified Personal Trainers.