Ask the Expert: What are Office Ergonomics?

Haley Carrier - P.T. MScPT,  BScKin, CAFCI

If you spend your work day at a desk or in front of a computer, poor posture can cause repetitive overuse and strain injuries. Early signs of injury include fatigue, pain, tingling, numbness, tightness, swelling or weakness. To help prevent pain and injury, good posture and proper office ergonomics are the key!

First, actively use your core muscles to maintain neutral posture of our spine and reduce joint stress. Second, adjust your work station to help support your body in the proper position. Sit back in your chair, ensure your feet are supported and your weight evenly distributed on both hips, keep your head and neck upright, your arms relaxed by your side, and elbow angle around 90 degrees. Components of your office desk, chair, computer monitor, mouse and keyboard can be changed to help support your body. Standing work stations are a great option to offload your back. Remember to move frequently, change your position regularly, and stretch periodically. For more on how to prevent or treat injury or make ergonomic changes for your work station, talk to your physiotherapist. Success is doing ordinary things, extraordinarily well!

Moving forward

We found this very motivating quote and thought it applied perfectly to the act of healing. It is a journey, and every step counts.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop

Ask The Expert: Brains and Brawn

Haley Carrier P.T. MScPT,  BScKin, CAFCI

It is important for our mind and body to stay active throughout life. We know that exercise makes us feel better, but why? The reason we feel so good when we exercise is because it allows the brain to function at its best. Building muscles and conditioning the heart and lungs are important effects of exercise, however physical activity is also essential for building and conditioning the brain!

 

Exercise is truly our best defense against everything from mood and anxiety disorders to Alzheimer’s to ADHD to stress. It helps elevate the natural hormones in our body which can improve mood and feelings of wellness. Physical activity also helps us learn by optimizing our mind-set to improve alertness, attention and motivation. It has been shown that after exercising, children’s learning in school and university improved.

So, how much exercise is needed for these benefits? Approximately 15 minutes of daily aerobic exercise can help. This includes brisk walking, light jogging, cycling, swimming... anything that gets your heart rate up and keeps it there for at least 15 minutes. The research consistently shows that the more active you are, the more resilient your brain becomes and the better it functions! If you are unsure of the best exercise for you, consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist.

Be Happy, Be Healthy!

Ask the Expert: How do I know what my risk level for falls is?

Matt Scott PT, M.SC.P.T.

If I am at risk, is a crutch, cane, or walker best to use?

Summit Physiotherapy has a fall risk assessment program which combines a number of objective measurements (validated by research) to determine an individual’s level of risk. After results have been gathered, a specific exercise program is created that targets areas of weakness (balance, strength, coordination, mobility, vestibular issues). These results can also be used to determine which gait aid (crutch, cane, walker) provides the right amount of stability to safely walk.

As balance improves (from the exercise program), re-tests are done to track improvement, and determine if gait aid is still necessary. If you have concerns about your balance, or are aware your balance is an issue, get assessed and start improving now.