Are you a mommy blogger? Are you afraid of getting hurt while you’re at work? When you think of getting injured on-the-job, you’re probably not thinking that your present job of blogging is one that can cause a great amount of pain or frustration. The fact is, however, even blogging can cause injuries. They just tend to creep up on you a little more slowly.
In a factory or on a construction site you know that you have to be careful and that injuries can occur. But at a computer? Is it really possible to get injured? Yes, yes it is.
Feeling the Pain
A couple of years ago I was working on a big project that required me to spend about 10 hours a day in front of my computer. I first noticed that I was getting headaches more frequently than I used to. I was able to ignore them for awhile but once the shoulder ache settled in I knew I was in trouble. It’s very hard to get away from shoulder pain.
At first, I was able to ignore the shoulder pain. It really just bothered me while I was sitting at my desk. Then, however, it started bothering me no matter what I did. It ached while I was cooking dinner, while I was driving, while I tried to sleep…Eventually, I couldn’t even focus on my project because I was so distracted by the pain. It turns out that it was vertebral subluxation.
It was then that I knew that I had to do something about my work station. It just wasn’t conducive to the one thing that I needed to do there: work. So, I started learning about ergonomics and tried to make the changes that were needed in order to alleviate the pain and become more productive in the process.
Fixing the Problems
There were some things that were causing problems that I hadn’t considered and these had easy fixes. I’m not very tall, for instance, and my feet don’t always touch the ground when I am sitting. Dr. Amy Grabowski, however in her Workstation Ergonomics video recommends that your feet always touch the ground, even if it means placing a box or stool under them.
Getting up and walking around at regular intervals helped me stretch my legs. Getting the right kind of chair that put me at the right level to my desk was even better. I also realized that my monitor was actually too high and that I was straining my neck to look up at it. The top of your monitor should be level to the top of your head. Even lowering it too inches helped ease the crick I was getting in my neck every day.
My headache was probably a combination of neck strain and eye strain. Turning down the glare on my computer screen helped with that and lowering the monitor also gave my headaches some relief.
Little Things Add Up
Concerning injuries that are caused at the desk, cumulative trauma is usually the culprit. Unlike breaking an arm or a leg, these injuries build up over time so that you don’t really notice them until they get bad. The United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) even suggests that your desk itself can cause problems and that leading edges that come in contact with your wrist or arm could cause “contact stress” which could affect “nerves and blood vessels, possibly causing tingling and sore fingers.”
When you make good decisions for your physical health, you can actually increase your productivity, too. When you’re comfortable, you tend to work more efficiently. I love to play around on the Internet, take coffee breaks, stop and make a few phone calls, and go for a walk around the house from time to time. That helps stir the juices a bit. However, when you’re doing those things because you’re too distracted by pain or you’re just not comfortable sitting in your chair or working at your station then that’s a problem.
About the Author: Jason Munroe is a writer that is familiar with the aches and pains that go along with the craft. Constantly trying to come up with ways to increase his comfort levels, he’s determined to have the best workstation and has used the assistance of Chiropractors in Steinbach, MB to provide inspiration for his endeavors.