How To Prevent Neck & Shoulder Injuries At Work

Home > Blog > How To Prevent Neck & Shoulder Injuries At Work
Common Farm Worker Injuries

You don’t have to be engaging in heavy labour to experience neck and shoulder pain at work. Sitting at a desk and looking at a screen for the better part of the day can also contribute to neck and shoulder injuries, particularly if steps aren’t taken to change the way you work.

Sitting with poor posture and failing to correct the way you sit is a key culprit, but how else can you prevent neck and shoulder injuries at work? Here are our tips.

Keep a natural and relaxed posture

Ensuring that you are not tense while you are sitting or standing will help you to avoid sustaining a neck or shoulder injury. Try to stay as natural and relaxed as possible as this will help you from shrugging your shoulders.

Check your desk height

Whether you sit or stand when you work, your desk height should remain below your elbows. If it is higher and you start to raise your shoulders to accommodate the height, it can add strain to both your shoulders and your neck.

Correct and maintain your posture

Ensuring that you sit or stand with good posture can make all the difference to your neck and shoulder health.

If you choose to sit, you should continue to check throughout the day that you have:

  • your feet placed flat on the floor;
  • your hips pushed towards the back of your chair;
  • your elbows tucked in close to your body; and
  • your forearms, wrists, and hands comfortably straightened out in front of you.

If you prefer to stand, don’t slouch your shoulders. Try to stand on a soft surface and try to avoid wearing high heels so you can hold a firm stance for long periods of time.

Switch up the way you work

A mixture of sitting and standing throughout the day is the ideal way to keep good posture in check and relieve any tension you may be creating by remaining in the same position for long periods of time.

Take some stretch breaks

Taking breaks helps you physically and mentally and is a good practice to make a habit of. A five to ten-minute break a few times throughout the day (between tasks usually works well) can help re-energise you and also serves as the opportune time to go for a brief walk or do some quick stretches. Some beneficial stretches include:

  • raising your shoulders toward your ears before holding this position for a few seconds before lowering them down; and
  • interlocking your fingers with your arms stretched out in front of your body and rotating your wrists so that you get a slight and comfortable stretch in your arms and shoulders. Do this for about 10 to 15 seconds.

You will most likely find that after incorporating these short breaks into your schedule you will feel far more productive and less sore than you have been in your usual work day.

Set yourself up for a good week at work

Often, it’s the activities we do outside of work that come back to bite us when we are sitting or standing at our desks for long periods of time. If you are exercising quite a lot on the weekend, it may be that you are feeling the effects of your routine during the week.

Occasionally, the opposite is true and the worker is not exercising enough, so when they find themselves in the same spot throughout the day their body is unable to adapt to the uncomfortable position. To avoid this, building up core muscles through yoga or pilates will help correct a poor posture and, in turn, ease the burden on the shoulders and neck.

If you are involved in an incident at work that results in a back, neck or shoulder injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak to a workers compensation lawyer in Cairns today.