Every week we ask a health question to a medical expert. This week it is: how do I set up my workplace as well as possible to prevent complaints? Physiotherapist and exercise scientist Einte Rinsma: “The number of people with arm, neck and shoulder complaints has grown significantly since we started working from home en masse.”
You will see an increase in the number of complaints. How is that possible?
“Most people do not have a good workplace. In the office we sit at well-adjusted desks and ergonomic office chairs, at home there is only the kitchen table. Or, for people with busy families, sometimes even just a bed to work on.”
“The psychosocial aspect also plays a role. Many people struggle with worry and stress. As a result, they experience their pain more intensely, but tension also causes more complaints: research has shown that stress drives inflammation in the body. Moreover, relaxation becomes more difficult, which increases the pain. also worsens. “
How does a wrong posture cause complaints?
“If you sit in the wrong position for hours, for example with hunched shoulders, waste products accumulate in the muscles and become stuck as a result. The joints also become stuck. They contain a liquid that becomes less liquid when you do not move much.”
So we also have to move?
“Movement generates heat so that the synovial fluid remains liquid. What we do at work, we miss at home: the walk to the coffee machine or the colleague down the road. Get up now and then, walk a bit and do stretching exercises to improve blood flow. A good home workplace is of course also very important. “
How do you create an ergonomic home workplace?
“Make sure your feet are on the floor when you are sitting. And that both your knees and your hips are at a ninety degree angle. Support your back with a chair back. The angle between your forearms and your desk should be about 110 degrees. the horizontal range of motion of your wrist no greater than 5 degrees. “
And your screen?
“Picture yourself with a right angle behind your back that sticks out at the top of your head. Ideally, the edge of your screen should be 80 degrees, slightly lower than where the bar rises. Because your eyes want to look ahead. , straighten your neck like this instead of kinking it. Kinking the neck secures the upper cervical vertebrae. Sitting in such a position all day can cause neck and shoulder pain. “
Does a heat lamp help against such complaints?
The pain is caused by a small inflammation. It is actually made worse by heat. What helps is cooling. Twenty minutes of ice, twenty minutes of rest and then another twenty minutes of ice. blood vessels. “
“If your functioning or freedom of movement is limited by your complaints, go to a (manual) physiotherapist.”
Einte Rinsma is a movement scientist, physiotherapist, manual therapist and owner of physiotherapy practice De Hoedt in Zoetermeer.