In a world where millions are engaged in an office job, the strain it can take on physical health is a growing concern. From back pain to eye strain, the implications of extended hours in front of a computer screen may lead to enduring health issues.
Recognising the potential risks, Office Furniture Online have worked alongside Dr. Patrick Ryder (MChiro), Founder of Dublin City Chiropractic to discuss the top 3 health impacts of working in an office-based role and to support office workers in mitigating the health concerns associated with sedentary work.
Key health impacts of an office job:
1. Poor Posture
Sitting for prolonged periods in an unsupported position can lead to slouching, rounding of the neck and generally poor posture. Prolonged bad posture can lead to neck and back pain as well as musculoskeletal issues. This can also affect productivity and happiness in the workplace.
Expert advice: By investing in an appropriate and supportive workstation setup, you can easily rectify this issue. Optimal support during your workday can be achieved by opting for an ergonomic office chair, specifically designed to prioritise comfort and ensure correct spinal alignment.
2. Musculoskeletal Issues
Repetitive actions such as continuous typing on a computer or prolonged mouse use can lead to conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition that arises when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist within a passage known as the carpal tunnel. This compression can lead to a range of symptoms, including numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers, which if left untreated, may necessitate corrective surgery.
Expert advice: Consider using ergonomic accessories, such as ergonomic keywords and mice. These tools are tailored to conform to the natural positions of the hands and fingers, reducing strain on the hands and wrists.
3. Eye Strain
Prolonged exposure to a computer screen can result in significant eye strain, leading to headaches and dry eyes. If you frequently experience these symptoms at work, this may be an indication that you need glasses and should book in for a professional eye examination.
Expert advice:For those with glasses, opt for lenses with a blue light filter to reduce computer screen glare. This filter is especially recommended for individuals prone to headaches and migraines, as it reduces the emission of blue light from digital screens to minimise eye strain.
Overhead lighting is also essential to further mitigate eye strain when working in an office environment. Sitting in dimly lit spaces not only exacerbates strain, but may contribute to overall poor eye health.
The Benefits of Ergonomic Office Chairs
Investing in ergonomic office furniture offers a multitude of benefits for individuals engaged in long periods of seated work. Ergonomic office chairs are specifically designed to provide unparalleled support for all-day seating, promoting not only comfort but also long-term health and wellbeing.
Opting for an office chair with adjustable armrests not only enables users to comfortably rest their arms while maintaining an upright position but also offers maximum customisation to the individual’s height requirements.
Sloping seat fronts, also known as waterfall seats, also work to address concerns relating to thigh pressure and blood circulation. This sloped design element promotes improved blood flow to the legs, enhancing overall comfort and reducing the risk of developing conditions such as deep vein thrombosis.
Selecting an office chair with a contoured neck and backrest can support the spine, encouraging an optimal seated position and healthy posture. By reducing the risk of back pain associated with office working, ergonomic office chairs contribute to a more comfortable, productive and physically healthy workforce.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.