Standing Desks…Are they really the solution to back and neck pain?

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time has been labeled the “quiet killer”, worse than smoking these days. As a result, standing desks have become extremely popular to combat the effects of sitting. But are standing desks really the solution?  First, we need to determine what is really going on with our bodies when we sit to really understand.

Our bodies will adapt to almost any situation. If you sit all day long, your body adapts to your position. Your posture begins to round, then the shoulders round and then the chest tightens due to the lack of movement. The body adapts by limiting range of motion and tightening muscles that are shortened regularly. You lose strength in the muscles and can cause tissue damage. In the end, you experience tension in the back and neck, ultimately leading to pain.

While sitting can be the cause of common neck, shoulder, and low back pain, you should remember the issue is really a lack of movement. 

So are Standing Desks the solution?

The answer is yes and no.  It’s not the only solution, but it can help many desk-bound workers alleviate low back and neck pain.

While standing will help with a lot of issues (poor posture, tissue damage, tight quads/hip flexors), you can’t switch to a standing desk and expect your pain to go away. Your body will adapt, but you should know that standing 8+ hours per day leads to its own set of problems, specifically with feet, calves, legs, and back.

The ideal solution is a combination of standing and sitting, as well as getting on a regular exercise program. Simply put, you need to move more!

Baudry Therapy Center does suggest standing desks, but there are some things to consider before purchasing one.  You’ll want to buy one that offers flexible height adjustment so you can alternate between periods of sitting and standing. Once your desk arrives and you’re ready to set it up, you should consider some basic ergonomics.

 

 Proper Standing Desk Ergonomics

 

Desktop:

  1.  When standing, your desktop should be roughly at the level of your elbows.
  2. Your desk surface should be clean and clear of clutter.
  3. If you read forms or papers frequently, you might look for a tool which would hold the paper up, next to your computer screen, so you don’t have to look down at it repeatedly.

Computer Monitor:

  1.  Your monitor should be set directly in front of you.
  2. The top of the monitor should be at your brow level.

Anti-Fatigue Mat:

  1. You may also consider an anti-fatigue mat, which offers an unstable surface that keep the leg constantly in motion.
  2. This constant motion goes practically unnoticed and allows us to stand longer with less detrimental effects.

Phone:

  1.  If you are on the phone a lot I would suggest a headset
  2. While using the phone keep your neck in an upright position.

Movement Alarm:

  1. Set an alarm for every hour to remind yourself to move around. This could be a few squats, a trip to the water cooler or a quick walk around the block.
  2. Have a set of reliable stretches/movements that you use throughout the day as needed to get relief.

At the end of the day, a standing desk can certainly help your neck, back, and shoulder pain, but to truly alleviate it you need to move more! If you are experiencing pain and want to get a jump-start, call Baudry Therapy Center today. We can help you with one simple consultation.

If a standing desk is just not for you, click here for 4 Tips on how to help your back and neck pain while sitting.

Corporate Wellness Programs Don’t Work: Here’s Why.

Corporate Wellness Programs Don’t Work. Here’s why.

Only 15% of Americans are self-motivated to go to the gym / exercise daily. That means up to 85% of adults don’t get the recommended amounts of exercise each week, often setting themselves up for unnecessary health problems.

For years, companies have tried to inspire their employees to live a healthier lifestyle by developing corporate wellness programs, many with little success. Research has shown that those most likely to take advantage of their employer’s wellness offerings are healthy people who don’t spend a lot on health care, and employees with the highest health-care costs are the least likely to participate. Some companies will even try to incentivize employees but still only 10% utilize this benefit. Bottom line… corporate wellness programs just don’t work.

Rich Baudry, CEO of Baudry Therapy Center | BRIO said, “Before we launched BRIOworks, we spoke to many CEOs and business owners about their perspective on corporate wellness programs.  We found that companies need programs that promote exercise and provide trusted medical resources to employees when they need it, in order to help them stay healthy and productive.”

That’s why we don’t offer a traditional corporate wellness program. Our health performance program provides timely advice, coordinates necessary care, and builds healthy habits through evaluation, education and engagement. And it all happens on the jobsite. We call it BRIOworks – and it does just that.  It works.”

BRIOworks is led by licensed physical therapists who provide corporations with a trusted medical resource. (A movement specialist to “catch employees when they fall.”)  Located onsite, our team is available to see employees at the first instance of pain. With timely assessment, physical therapists provide tips and guidance to address concerns early on, before they become bigger, more costly issues.  They don’t have to wait until the issue grows into a bigger problem.

“By providing simple tips and direction to dealing with common sources of soreness/pain, we give employees confidence and the education to get themselves better, quickly,” said Rich.  “Our clients have found big value in BRIOworks by helping employees to resolve their health issues, while remaining focused on their job.

The true value of corporate wellness programming is in the timely assessment, and care for the inevitable health concerns, that cost both employees and their company’s pain, productivity, and money.

Learn More About BRIOworks

Take control of your healthcare, reduce escalating costs and lead your company to optimal health. We partner with companies to improve musculoskeletal and physical health by building a culture of health performance. From hire to retire, our programs alleviate many of the hidden healthcare costs companies typically bear.

BRIO physical therapists are specialists with a wealth of knowledge in physical health. With simple education and self- directed activities, we help partners prepare, perform,
and recover from daily activity, much like a professional sports team. MORE