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Finding you’re stiff and sore at the end of the day? If you are switching between slouching on the couch and slumping at the dinner table, then sadly, you are not alone. At Evolved Physio we see clients all the time presenting with pain and discomfort from poor habits relating to work postures. We want to help you avoid this, so follow along with our wonderful Physio Mandy Willis to find some useful tips on how to improve your desk posture when working (from home or in the office).


Let’s take you through our version of ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’…


Head:


Ask yourself:

o Are you looking down at your computer screen?

o Is your neck poking forward towards the screen?


Aim:

o Our head should be upright over our shoulders

o Top of monitor should be at eye level

o Neck should be relaxed and in neutral position


Solution:

o Do you have some old books laying around? Use a few of these to prop your laptop/monitor up. If not, an old shoe box should do the trick!



Shoulders:


Ask yourself:

o Are you slouching forward?

o Are you sitting too close/far from your screen?


Aim:

o Your screen should be roughly arm’s length away from your torso

o Your torso should be upright but relaxed

o Your forearms should be supported and close to the body

o Your elbows should be roughly sitting at right angles



Solution:

o Move your chair to the position where your screen is arm’s length away

o Position your monitor/laptop further back to enable your forearms to rest on the table in front of you

o If you can, sit on a chair that has back support to ensure you’re relaxed but upright

o If you can, using a wireless keyboard and mouse can be a cheap and effective tool whilst working from a laptop.

o Ensure the keyboard is towards the front edge of the desk and that the mouse is alongside the keyboard. Remember we want to keep the forearms supported and close to the body and the elbows close to 90 degrees.


Knees:


Ask yourself:

o Are your thighs parallel to the floor?

o Where are you positioned in your chair?


Aim:

o Your thighs should be parallel to the floor

o Your bottom should be position into the back of the chair with hips roughly at right angles

o There should be roughly 2-3 fingers width distance between the back of your knee and the end of the chair




Solution:

o Sitting on a dining chair or an office chair to provide best support

o Use cushions and towels to provide optimal support that is specific to your body

o Avoid sitting into deep sloping chairs such as your couch as they promote bad posture

o See the Evolved Physio post on chair modifications for ways you can optimise your chair set up



Toes:


Ask yourself:

o Are your feet dangling off the ground?


Aim:

o Your feet should be resting flat, either on the floor or on a footrest


Solution:

o If you’re unable to reach the ground, place a couple of pillows or books under your feet so they can rest flat





Lastly, it is important that we break up periods of sitting down throughout a working day. Our bodies were designed to move – not to sit still. So set an alarm every hour to remind yourself to get out of your chair. Maybe do some stretches, make a cup of tea or walk around the house to get that blood flowing and the muscles moving. Your body will thank you for it!



Evolved Physio is a welcoming Physio Clinic located in Maribyrnong - Footscray. We service Melbourne's Inner West from out boutique clinic. Our personable and experienced Physio's will comprehensively assess and treat your injury in our 45 minute treatment sessions.


If you have any ongoing pain or would like some further information about how to improve your work environment, follow the link to book in for a consultation below:

https://evolved-physio.cliniko.com/bookings#service













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  • Sally Blake

Updated: Aug 8, 2020

Load management is a super important component of your running program and training errors are the single biggest cause of running related injuries that we see at Evolved Physio.

Load management is important for all runners, but even more so if you are still relatively new to running.


The tissue in our body - the bone, muscle, ligament and tendon all have a “capacity” or load tolerance, that they can work at safely. If we suddenly or repetitively exceed that capacity limit it can result in overload and subsequent injury.


Tendons in particular are susceptible to sudden fluctuations in load, for example if you normally run 5 km and suddenly increase that to 10km or 15km this could be a higher rate loading than the tendon can cope with and there can be subsequent tendon pain.


Bone is more susceptible to repetitive load and can be vulnerable when there is consistent impact loading without adequate time for repair at a cellular level.


Our body is constantly adapting to load but it takes some time for this to occur so allowing at least 36 hours between one run and the next will allow sufficient recovery time and minimise the chance of overload.


When considering how much load you are putting into your body, think about more than just the running. Consider this list and how you could better distribute your training load.


  • Running:

  • Distance

  • Frequency/week

  • Pace

  • Surface you run on

  • Other training loads - weights, walking, cycling etc

  • Work - do you stand all day or is your job very physical? Do you sit all day and then do sudden burst of high intensity exercise?

  • Rest days - do you have any? Are they balanced amongst everything else?


Add some variety to your running by mixing up the running variable such as pace, distance and surface you run on. If you always run at one pace consider adding some interval session or tempo runs into the mix. Consider what else you do in a day or within the 36 hour recovery window that could be contributing to tissue overload.


Cross train with activities that provide the body with a different type of loading such as strength training, pilates, swimming or cycling. Set goals that are realistic and have sensible time frames for building up the kilometres.


Most importantly - listen to your body! Our bodies are great at telling us when to stop or take a break.... we are just not always that good at listening.


If you do have any niggles or injuries get them seen to sooner rather than later. Often a slight change to the training program or additional strength exercises can have you back on track sooner rather than later with minimal impact to your program and goals.




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  • Sally Blake

Updated: 4 days ago

With working from home looking set to become the new “normal” for many of us, now is a great time to look at ways to make your home work-station more ergonomic. Evolved Physio has some great tips to help get you set up.

Chairs can be tricky and finding the “right” chair for you can take some trial and error and also often a lot of expense. Ergonomic office chairs can cost hundreds of dollars and with the uncertainty of how long it will be needed at home, may not be a viable or cost-effective option for everyone.

Here we look at some no-cost, simple and effective ways you can modify your existing chair to reduce the strain on your body.

Low back pain or stiffness

A great option is to place a rolled towel or small cushion into the natural curve of your low back

Another option is to sit on a low cushion or folded towel at the back of the seat to create a slight forward tilt and transfer some load off the back and into the legs.


Upper back, neck and shoulder pain or stiffness

If it’s the upper body that causes you the most issues when sitting, then placing the rolled towel or cushion higher on the chair will encourage a more upright posture and more optimal alignment of the spine.





Don’t forget to move

Taking regular posture breaks to get up and away from the desk is Really important.

Our body is not designed to sit stationary for long periods of time so set a timer or alarm at regular intervals to remind you to get up and move.



Contact Evolved Physio if you need a personal assessment. Our amazing Physio's, based in Maribyrnong and Footscray will help get you moving better and set up ready to take on your work day.



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