As more of our professions become dependent upon technology and spending time using computers, more workers complain of neck and back pain. Our Chicago workers compensation lawyers have seen many clients who have sustained work injuries from repetitive motion or long periods of time spent poring over a computer screen.
These injuries may be avoidable. “A new study presented at the World Congress of the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver found that office workers doing two minutes of exercise a day reported lower levels of neck and shoulder pain after 10 weeks,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Workers compensation lawyers in Chicago advise employers to work with employees to avoid work injuries. It appears that exercise is one of the ways to accomplish that goal. Surprisingly, the benefits of exercising can be experienced by doing as little as two minutes per day. In fact, there was no significant difference in the decrease of pain between workers in the study who exercised for two minutes and those who exercised for twelve minutes. This is encouraging news for those who are daunted by the concept of introducing long periods of exercise into their daily routines.
Our workers compensation lawyers in Chicago recommend the following “best practices” to help avoid work injuries, especially for administrative and computer workers:
- Correct computer monitor placement: This is especially important for those with laptops. Laptop users often have the worst posture, leading to work injuries, because they have to lean forward and over to see a laptop that is sitting on a desk. There are computer platforms available that bring your laptop screen to the correct height which should be utilized.
- Chair adjustment: If you have an adjustable office chair, pay attention to the seat back and armrests – not just the height of the chair.
- Exercise: As indicated by the American College of Sports Medicine study, strengthening your muscles can reduce pain, discomfort and work injuries.
- Frequent breaks: If you are seated at a computer all day, you are more likely to experience work injuries according to workers compensation lawyers in Chicago and nationwide. To avoid repetitive trauma and other work injuries, you should get out of your chair and move around at least once per hour. Take a water break, use the restroom, or speak with a coworker directly rather than calling or emailing – anything that allows you to get out of your chair and stretch your muscles.