The Return To Work Blog

Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries: The Magic is in the Movement!

Posted by Marty Watts on Aug 31, 2016 12:14:00 PM

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We've all seen the different solutions that have evolved in the name of office ergonomics to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Better chairs, standing desks, and rubber balls. Even chair/desk combos that look more like a device for plugging into The Matrix rather than getting the weekly corporate update written. And there is the occasional odd coworker who will randomly take naps on the office floor. (He didn't last very long!)

These solutions aren't necessarily bad, and some may even be recommended. But ultimately, research shows that sitting isn't necessarily bad, and neither is standing. The true culprit is not moving! Movement is critical for maintaining good health in an office environment. 

Preventing_Workplace_Injuries_Movement.jpgHowever, moving throughout the day can be difficult to remember, especially when your work resides 18 inches away from your face on a screen. And if your work is tedious and requires creating long documents that require 15 minutes just to get into the word flow, then exchanging movement for workplace efficiency is an even harder choice to make. 

With all this in mind, here are 5 little tricks that can help you increase mobility in your workplace. 

  1. Loose the water bottle, and say hello to the water cooler. Keep your water bottle for hiking trips on the weekend, and use your thirst as a reminder to walk to the office water cooler.
  2. Use your daily 10 minute breaks to take a walk. Turn off your cell phone and head around the block. Or download Pokemon-Go and go catch a Abomasnow!
  3. Stop! Don't send that email! Instead, walk over to your supervisor's office and ask them in person. Chances are, they will be glad to not have one more email in their overflowing inbox. 
  4. Stand to answer! Put a reminder on your desk. The next time a colleague comes to ask a question, stand up to talk with them. Yes, they should already know the answer, but hey, you just got a great excuse to stretch your legs and earn brownie points! 
  5. Refill the coffee pot! It's 10:30 AM, and the new gal just drank the last cup of coffee. Instead of waiting for someone else to do it, take the opportunity to brew a new batch. And be stretching the whole time! 

There are probably 20 other tricks that you might think of to get more movement out of your day in the office. And that's great, use them all! Ultimately, the more you move, the better you will feel, resulting in better sleep, health, and overall productivity both inside and out of the office. 

Topics: Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries

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