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Office Syndrome – How to avoid it


Working from home has for many become an easy, affordable way of working compared to being in the office; however, this new normal presents lots of challenges as Maria Kumutu, a consulting physiotherapist at the Strathmore University Medical Centre explained. The main speaker in July’s wellness webinar organized by the SU Wellness Programme under the People and Culture department highlighted the tell-tale signs of office syndrome and gave tips to resolve “here and there” aches we pick up while working.

How do you work?

Do you follow all the recommended guidelines while working either from home or from your office using a desk top computer or a laptop? Do you maintain a distance of 90 degrees? How about maintaining your viewing angles to about 30 degrees? Do you always put your hand at a fully extended posture?

Leaning forward without supporting the lumbar spine curve will cause a strain on your lumbar discs by hyper flexion; looking up and elevating head to the screen will cause hyperextension of the neck curve thus compressing the nerve while looking down while typing on a lower positioned laptop will cause hyper flexion of the neck curve. These postures can lead to over stretching the ligaments and tendons thus leading muscles into tension.

Avoid office syndrome

To avoid the office syndrome you should: have a good sitting position of 90 degrees; move from one place to another after 1 to 2 hours for about five minutes; have walks from time with your loved ones to give your muscles time to relax; and do exercises daily. These will help to prevent muscle fatigue and keep you physically active.

When office syndrome is harsh on you, always make sure to stretch your hands, arms and shoulders or if the symptoms persist, seek intervention from an expert. Take advantage of software packages that can be installed on our devices to motivate us to take breaks from the screen and adjust our sitting position every so often.

Are you bespectacled?

For those with an extra set of eyes, ensure you take a break after every 20 minutes so as to give your eyes a different focus. This will also give your mind some refreshing time to refocus.

All in all, we need to avoid overworking and give ourselves time to refocus and this can only be done by having good sleep, a healthy diet, exercise, relaxation and time with friends and family.

This article was written by Zipporah Wanjohi.   

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu