24 Jul Are Your Hobbies Hurting You At Work?
Most aches and pains associated with work are, well, associated with things you may or may not be doing on the job. Funky sitting or standing postures, pounding the keys when you type, death gripping your mouse, hunching over your laptop and not taking enough breaks are just some of the reasons that you may feel discomfort at work.
But what if you do have an ergo friendly set up, have good posture and stretch on the regular and still have pesky aches and pains in your back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands and even your legs? Well, it could be that the after effects of your beloved hobbies and activities that you are doing off the job, can show up on the job. And not in a good way.
Now the idea is to continue with your favorite hobbies, sports and whatever other activities make you happy. The trick is to be as mindful of your form and even ergonomics when you engage in the after-work-fun stuff. Here is a list of the most common activities that can be causing you trouble at work.
- Gardening. Gardening is an amazing way to lower stress, get some good physical exercise, enjoy the outdoors and connect to something meaningful. But it can also involve a lot of bending, twisting, pressure on your knees and stress on your hands, arms and back. So, make sure to mind your posture, use knee pads or a kneeling pad, ergonomic garden tools (that have wider handles which are easier to grip) and long enough handles on your rakes, shovels and other items to avoid stooping over.
- Craft Work. This can include knitting, sewing, quilting, needlepoint, crocheting and any other craft that uses fine motor skills and keen visual attention. While any craft work is a fabulous creative outlet, it can also cause rounded posture, strain on your neck (neck is often forward to see what you are doing) and pinching and gripping of your fingers. Find a comfortable position to work in that allows you to maintain a comfortable position, and allow room for your arms and elbows to freely move about. Keep a loose comfortable grip on your tools and try your best to keep your neck and wrists in a neutral position.
- Sports. This is a broad area and most commonly includes tennis, golf, cycling, basketball, baseball and soccer, But any sport or exercise can benefit from a few easy things to implement. First off, wear comfortable, well fitting and supportive shoes. Next, wear appropriate protective gear. Be mindful of your posture and use your body in the most coordinated way possible. This means working your core, legs and back into your swings, catches, pitches and throws. And of course, make sure to stay hydrated.
There are many more things than listed here that can take you off your game, but this is a reminder to pay attention to all that you do. And remember, poor ergonomics at play can negatively affect you at work and the reverse is true too.
Jump into the comments and let us know how you take care of yourself both on and off the job.
Vivienne & Andrew