We’ll help you set up your workspace properly and fix your posture to fix or prevent and injury.
We want you to get back to a normal and active life as quickly and safely as possible. Instead of treating your symptoms for temporary pain relief, we focus on identifying the source of the problem and treat that for long lasting results.
We want you to see lasting results. Our team members will assess a variety of movement patterns and postures while empowering you with education and exercises so that you can reduce the risk of re-injury and prevent new injuries from occurring.
We understand that the human body is incredibly interconnected. We use a variety of technology and techniques to detect and treat not only the underlying cause of your problem but also other areas of your body that might be contributing to the problem.
You can learn more about the science here or jump straight to our guidelines on how to set up your computer desk correctly.
If you are more concerned about how you should set up your laptop, choose appropriate computer glasses or decide if an exercise ball is right for you to sit on, click here for answers to those questions.
While our resources will help you understand the importance of good ergonomics and give you the tools to organize your workstation safely, you may still require a bit more assistance. This is what our Ergonomic Consultations are for.
Ergonomics is the science of developing tools and work environments that are sensitive to the physical needs of the human body. Ergonomic hazards are workplace conditions that increase the risk of injury to the worker. They include repetitive and forceful movements, vibration, extreme temperature or awkward postures due to improper work methods or poorly designed workstations, tools and equipment.
The goal of ergonomics is to help workers avoid serious injuries, repetitive strain injuries or stress that can be caused by such hazards. This is achieved by adapting the workplace to better accommodate the worker (eg replacing a worker’s chair with one that fits their body) and through proper training of workers to use their bodies in safer, more efficient ways (eg safe lifting techniques or improved sitting posture).
Ergonomics affects each of us in unique and personal ways. It influences every workplace, school, home and all activities of daily living such as: lifting a pot, chopping vegetables, carrying a child or unloading groceries. In other words, any activity, when done poorly and/or using the wrong tools can result in aches and pains. The field of ergonomics is vast and very specific to each individual, but with the predominance of computer work, the issues caused by poor posture at a computer are what we see most. Therefore, to best meet the needs of our clients, we have chosen to focus this section of our site on office ergonomics.
Poor computer ergonomics can result in a myriad symptoms including pain in your neck, back, shoulder, wrist or elbow, frequent headaches and tingling, numbness or weakness in your arms and/or hands. Any or all of these symptoms can be eliminated if address quickly. If left untreated, however, they can progress to chronic musculoskeletal disorders that can severely impact your productivity at work and your quality of life.
You know your body best and by paying close attention, you can start to figure out which activities bother you. This information can be very helpful towards identifying injury causes and working towards solutions. If you notice that your pain is worse at work, this is something you should discuss with your supervisor. Hopefully they are supportive and help you modify your work station to reduce your discomfort. After all, your comfort level is directly tied to your ability to be a productive employee. You may find a few changes in your workstation setup is all you need (refer to our guide for ideas) or you might need to book an appointment with our physiotherapists for a series of treatments. If your discomfort persists, you may consider booking an ergonomic assessment which would take place at your place of work.
Taking a proactive approach is in the best interest of a company too. Ignoring ergonomics can be costly due to loss of productivity and employee health problems. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that annual workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths cost organizations $170 billion in direct payment to the employees and healthcare professionals plus indirect costs for reduced productivity, additional training, and greater legal and insurance fees and premiums.
If your pain is worse at home, you should book an appointment to see one of our physiotherapists. Don’t wait too long to take action – early intervention is the best way to prevent things from getting worse.
For an excellent infographic summary of the dangers of sitting, click here.
The image on the right is intended to assist you set up a safe computer workstation (you can download a pdf version here: Guide to a Safe Computer Workstation). These helpful tips show you how to identify and correct ergonomic problems to prevent repetitive strain injury, eyestrain, fatigue and discomfort. If you have incorporated theses guidelines but your discomfort persists, you should book an appointment with Jacek Kobza for an on-site ergonomic assessment.
With most jobs being heavily computer based, most people fall into the category of moderate (3-5h/day) to heavy (over 5h/day) computer use but there are many who spend over 10h/day in front of a computer. It is critical, therefore, that computer workstations be designed accordingly to good ergonomic standards, meaning that the various components are set up in the best position for your body:
Your chair should have:
Money invested in ergonomic upgrades is money well spent. Research indicates that a good health and safety program can save $4-6 for every $1 invested due to less workers’ compensation and medical costs, reduced absenteeism, turnover, and training costs, and higher productivity and employee morale.
Laptop computers are popular for their portability and light weight, but these desirable features present inherent ergonomic problems when these devices are used extensively. Because the keyboard and the screen are attached, it is not possible to have the monitor at eye level and the keyboard just above waist level, as per our guide to computer workstation setup. Short-term, infrequent use of laptops is not a problem, but if a laptop is your primary computer, you should be using a laptop stand with a separate keyboard and mouse (as shown in the image on the right) or a separate monitor.
Computer glasses are “task specific” prescription glasses that are designed to be worn when doing computer work. They allow you to focus your eyes on a computer screen, which is farther away than reading material is normally held. There are several options related to one’s visual abilities while selecting computer-specific glasses and the selection has to be made in consultation with an eye specialist who has experience with this type of eye ware. Some factors that should be taken into consideration while selecting computer glasses include personal preferences, the type of work you do on your computer, the distance between your eyes, the size and resolution of your monitor and the lighting in your workplace.
Exercise balls (also known as a physio ball, a Swiss ball or stability ball) have became a popular alternative to traditional office chairs in recent years, even though the experts disagree on the benefits.
The theory is that when you sit on the ball’s unstable surface, your core muscles are instantly challenged. The muscles of your stomach, back, pelvic floor and hips spring into action as a natural response to the sensation of instability, tightening in an effort to help you maintain balance. As a result, your core muscles (the muscles that help you maintain proper posture and balance) get a workout while you sit at your computer and when used properly, can help improve your overall balance and posture. But perfect posture is not guaranteed – you can actually slouch on a ball, particularly as you become more accustomed to the movement of the ball.
What are the arguments against using exercise balls as desk chairs?
So what is the final verdict? Moderation, adherence to principals of ergonomics and regular exercise to keep the muscles strong is the answer.
If you are curious about your workstation set up, start by downloading our Guide to a Safe Computer Workstationand follow the tips to identify potential problems, achieve better posture and ensure your workstation is properly set up. If you decide that you need further assistance or are experiencing any of the following symptoms while working at your computer, you should contact our office to schedule an appointment for on-site ergonomic consultation. Prior to your Ergonomic Consultation, please download our Workstation Evaluation Form and have it filled out for your appointment.
Symptoms that indicate you should have an Ergonomic Consultation:
Bentall Physiotherapy has teamed up with Santosa Occupational Therapy to offer a range of options for office workstation evaluation:
Level 1 – Basic Workstation Evaluation
Designed for low-risk employees who need some hands-on help to review proper posture and make minor workstation adjustments.
Level 2 – Detailed Workstation Assessment
Designed for employees experiencing musculoskeletal symptoms and for whom a comprehensive analysis of risk factors will lead to ergonomic recommendations.
Level 3 – Ergonomic Follow Up
Designed to ensure that recommendations are implemented properly and that employee’s needs have been met.
Level 4 – Department-Wide Training
Group presentations and group workstation consultations for pro-active organizations and companies.
“I ‘m an active professional with very little time to spare; so when I need help with my aches and pains I go to the best. At Bentall Physiotherapy therapists are experienced, professional and dedicated to helping us, the patients, feel really good again. An assessment is always focused on the root of the problem not the symptom and I always leave with exercises and suggestions on how I can participate in this healing process. Keep up the great job, you guys! I’m sure I will be back.”
“Mariola’s knowledge of human body, hands-on approach, professional and friendly manner has made a world of difference in dealing with my chronic low back pain. Now I have my life back and I am grateful for all the help.”
“Experienced, professional and knowledgeable physiotherapists, empowering experience”
“Just wanted to share with you how much I have appreciated the fine work Mariola has done helping to heal my back. Her cheery disposition and professional manner brightened many of my “rainy “days.”
“Most of my family and I have been visiting Jacek for almost 15 years with various sports related ailments. Jacek is the best Physiotherapist we have found to get us pain free and moving again.”
“After a shoulder injury I wanted to give up and curl into a ball and pass my days with self pity. Jacek believed in the benefits of exercise and encouraged me to try even when I felt grumpy and frustrated. He told me that the journey might take some time, but that it would be worthwhile. As part of my therapy he challenged me with 10,000 steps a day, and naturally I doubted myself because it was easier not be accountable. Jacek was determined to stand his ground and encouraged me every step of the way – to have courage and to “stick with the program”. Walking 10,000 steps is now a breeze for me, and each day I set new challenges with tremendous pride in myself. I cannot thank Jacek enough for believing in me when I had given up on myself.”
“Jacek gave me back my life. After I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Polymyositis and now Osteoarthritis, I struggled for many years with the disease until I found Jacek. He is very knowledgable and skilled to deal with the complexity of my disease and he is flexible with his time in order to bring me relief. His treatments relived me of my joint pains which enabled me to gradually reduced my pain medications. He eventually helped me achieved remission. I’m now off medication and lead a normal life. Jacek is my Physiotherapist of choice whenever I have a flare up for 20 yrs. and recommended him to my family and friends.”
“My 86 years old mother and I, we are both having arthritis, osteoporosis and osteopenia. We are Jacek’s patients for over 15 years or so, and I told him once that he is not allowed to retire ever! Without his treatments, we would be having very poor life quality. He takes the time to listen and helps you understand what is going on. He is knowledgeable, skilled, intuitive and so thorough. He is confident and inspires you to reach for the highest possible level of physical functioning despite your limitations. And when we talk and joke about his native Poland or our Serbia, our minds are forgetting the painful stretching or twisting that we have to endure in order to improve the range of motion or muscle strength. I have to say that even the toughest manual adjustments are done with extremely gentle approach. Jacek genuinely wants you to be in the best shape you could be. I would absolutely recommend this great professional to anyone!”
“Jacek is a very special physiotherapist, my family and I are very grateful to be under his care. I never thought that a physiotherapist would teach me how to breath. Jacek educates about the fundamentals and awareness required to live in your body aligned and healthy. Of course, the process is one of co-creation—his wisdom and guidance and your action incorporating his prescribed posture and exercises. Jacek is a Master at his craft. His passion in understanding the integrated workings of the human body are incredible to say the least. With the depth of Jacek’s knowledge and wisdom in his field, coupled with his presence, makes is easy for me to say, that everybody would be well served to have a session with Jacek!”
We always warmly welcome new patients to our office and direct bill all major insurance companies. To book an appointment please feel free to call us or book online. If you have a question, please feel free to fill out the form or give us a call.