work related pain

Let’s work it out…

Let’s face it majority of this generation’s occupations, consists of extensive sitting. This ranges from office workers to teachers, all the way to lorry drivers.

If we look back at the history of our ancestors, their lives involved a lot of walking, running and hard manual labor. Unfortunately, in this current century majority of Malaysians are confined to jobs that don’t involve much physical activity. It has been reported that we spend an average of 9-10 hours a day sitting, which is more than the average sleep time.

Many studies suggest that excessive hours of sitting are linked to several diseases and injuries/pain.

The good news is that there are many tips to improve your sitting position.

Let’s avoid looking like Quasimodo at the desk by following these tips.



Be choosy with your seat!

I can’t express enough, how important a good chair is.

Its simple equation

A good chair and good posture => Less risk of injury => Improved mood => increased productivity.

If you are going to spend most of your day in a chair. It might as well be a chair that’s beneficial for you. take a trip down to a furniture store of your choice and buy the chair of your dreams, but make sure it’s an ergonomic chair. This should be a chair that has a backrest that supports the curve in your lower back. As well as being adjustable on the height of the chair, backrest, as well as the armrest. A good chair will make the following tips easy to achieve.



Sit within reach and find the optimal angles

Finding the right distance and angle would reduce the many risks of injuries and pain.

Keyboard too far = Over reaching     => shoulders pushes forward = shoulder pain

=> Back curves = Back pain

Monitor too low = Looking down     => Neck pain


  1. Torso and arms

Your torso should be about an arm’s length away from the monitor, this prevents overreaching or twisting of the shoulder, arms, or wrist when clicking and typing.

Your arms rest should allow your arms to be perpendicular or 90 degrees to your spine.


  1. Head

Focus on aligning your head and neck above your shoulders. As well as adjusting the height so the monitor is at least 2 inches above eye level.

With the right distance, you should be able to see what’s on the screen.

Definitely, avoid squinting, you will subconsciously bring your head closer to the screen. Instead, adjust the position of the monitor if you cant you should adjust the zoom on the computer.



Treat yourself

Treat yourself to small breaks every now and then.

Remembers we are not machines to be connected to another machine for hours and not have breaks.

So don’t forget TAKE BREAKS! Aim for every 1-1.5 hours to take a small 5 minute (minimum) break.

Take a walk to the water dispenser to get your daily recommended water intake.

Take a walk to the bathroom, do some shoulder rolls, stretch, talk to that cute girl/guy in the office, go outside for fresh air. Do whatever keep you moving, just as long as you are not in that chair.

Believe me, it will pay off, you’ll be more limber and feel less stressed.



Don’t forget to breathe

I know what you are probably thinking “that goes without saying, we are always breathing”

Yes, but are we breathing properly at work? Have you ever noticed how you actually breathe when you are stressed or angry? A lot of times it is very shallow breaths.

Do you even know if you are even breathing properly?

There is, in fact, many types of breathing.

But the main two types are chest breathing and abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing.

Research has shown the link between chest breathing and shoulder/back pain.

A simple way to explain this is, during chest breathing we use more of the chest muscles. More activation of these muscles leads to an increase muscle fatigue or activity. Which can then have an impact on the positions of our shoulders as well as our backs.

Studies express the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing in both physiological and psychological aspects.

But let’s be honest we are not all breathing experts.

Breathing shouldn’t be too complicated nor should it be under appreciated so a recommendation would be on each exhale, think about drawing your navel toward your spine. And on each inhale inflate your belly (push your navel away from the spine). It feels weird at first and takes a while to adjust to.

Do keep in mind all of these golden tips as it will have a positive impact on your work life.

by Abdul Rahim

Have You Impulsed Today?!