How to Avoid Shoulder Pain at Work?

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Man with shoulder pain at work

Overview

Physically intensive jobs aren’t just the kind of jobs that are tiring and physically demanding. Sitting in the office for 8 hours can cause also be tiring and can cause back and shoulder pain. If you work 8 to 10 hours in the office, you probably feel all that tension in your neck, back, and shoulders as soon as you come home. It’s an added stress aside from the mental stress that you get from work.

Many people who work in an office spend hours each day sitting in front of a computer.
The problem arises when you sit or stand improperly for hours. The main problems are stretching, holding the body in one set position, or misalignment which causes stress on the body parts that are affected.

Here are some tips to prevent or reduce shoulder pain while at work:

Check your Workspace

Make sure that your chair has the same height as your desk. A desk that is too high will prompt you to raise your shoulders and tilt your neck which results in pain and strain.
A desk that is too low on the other hand will have you reaching, stretching, and constantly looking down while you work. This also causes neck and shoulder pain. It would also be recommended to have an adjustable armrest to alleviate the strain on the shoulder while working on your desk.

The desk should be level with the elbows while seating down. The computer monitor should be situated about an arm’s length away from you. The top of the screen should be below eye level. The monitor and keyboard should be at the center to avoid twisting the neck a lot that could result in neck and shoulder pain. Keep those supplies and tools that you often use within your reach to avoid stretching and twisting a lot to reach them.

Stand or Sit in a Natural Position

Your body should always be in a relaxed and natural position whether you are sitting or standing. When you are sitting down, make sure that your desk is at the same level or below your elbows so that you can avoid shrugging your shoulders all day.

Maintain a Good Posture

Be conscious of the position of your body while working on your desk or in front of a computer and always aim to have a good posture. You can do this by following these steps:

  • Plant your feet flat and firmly on the floor or a footrest
  • Thighs should be parallel to the ground
  • Push the hips toward the back of the chair
  • The lower back should be supported by some cushioning or a pillow
  • Keep the elbows close to the body almost maintaining an L-shaped position.
  • Keep your hands and wrists in line with your forearms and straight in front of you
  • Relax the shoulders making sure that it’s flat and not rounded even as you lean on the chair

Remember that you tend to slouch once you get tired sitting for a long time in front of your desk or computer which worsens your posture and strains your body so you should be aware once you do this.

When you are in a standing position, stand tall and avoid slouching. Stand on a softer surface like a carpet or mat. Wear comfortable shoes to help you maintain an upright position.

Change your Position every couple of Hours

Staying in the same position for a long period of time can cause strain on your neck, back, and shoulders. You should alter your position every few hours to add variety and to avoid slouching, leaning in awkward positions, and rounding the shoulders which all could lead to discomfort and pain.

Take Regular Breaks or Walks

Leave your desk, take a break, and go for a walk every once in a while for every working day. This can help you physically and mentally as it gives you the daily recommended exercise that you need and it gives you a physical and mental boost to have a productive day at work. This will help remove all the tension that you are feeling especially when you feel too much pressure or stress at work.

While taking a break, you can also stretch your other body parts. You can shake your arms and hands and also roll your shoulders. You can also rotate your head to ease the tension in your neck.

Pay Attention to the Position of your Mouse

Make sure that the mouse is not too far away from the keyboard and from your body to avoid having to stretch and reach for it.

Try switching your mouse to the other side to distribute the workload of the normal mouse hand. This is an effective remedy if you are feeling shoulder pain on just one side.

Check your Activities outside Work

You can go to the gym and workout to help relieve you of the tension in your body which could eventually lead to back and shoulder pain. It is recommended to do yoga as it can help correct your posture and also relax your mind and body.

Going for a message at least once or twice a month also helps in easing the tension before it builds up and results in back and shoulder pain.