Tag Archives: home office

Stand Up

Companies adopting the “standing at your desk” culture want to create an active workspace which is more collaborative and productive. This type of work environment is very attractive to a new generation who actively hedge against the burdens of disease later on in life.

To clarify, there is a difference between voluntary standing at your desk culture and occupational standing jobs. The former is clearly voluntary, and the employee can sit down when stressed. The latter makes it mandatory to stand at your desk for the duration of your work. 

study by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that workers who stand for long periods of time were at a higher risk of heart disease compared to their seated counterparts. 

This means that even standing should be done in moderation at work.

For you to benefit from the “standing at your desk” culture, avoid common mistakes like pushing yourself to stand for long. You don’t have to stand all day to stay healthy. Start with 15 to 20 minutes a day and build up to two hours a day then four hours. They are called sit/stand desks for a reason, because you can adjust them to accommodate you when you are seated or standing. 

To make it more bearable, you can play some music or interact more with your colleagues.

Also, makes sure the desk is the right height. If it’s too short you’ll ruin your posture but too high and you will feel it in your neck and arms. The correct position is having your elbow no more than 90 degrees and your eye line directly opposite your computer screen or just below.

On top of that, you want to pay attention to your posture to eliminate the chances of lower back pain. The right posture creates an S-curve to your spine. Using a standing mat gives you more comfort on the balls of your feet and reduces fatigue to the legs.

Experts recommend standing for 30 minutes per hour in order to get the type of health benefits you are looking for. This approach gives you half an hour of rest and half an hour standing to strike the best balance.

Some people believe that you don’t need a sit/stand desk to stand regularly. They believe that water and coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, and moving from one department to another to interact with a colleague provide plenty of standing opportunities to promote good health.

However, with the presence of phones and e-mails, we rarely have to get off our chairs at work to go and ask a colleague a question in person. Besides, how many bathroom breaks do you take? According to the Society for Human Resources Management, you can use the standing desk to promote an active workforce without relying on snacks and bathroom breaks to fill the gaps.

Finally, for the standing at your desk culture to succeed, there has to be a commitment to the initiative from the top down. 

For example, it’ll be very difficult to encourage staff to stand at their desk or even use the trendy workstations with bicycles or treadmills attached when the managers never go near those things. After all, no one wants to seem like they are exercising when they should be working. 

When an office decides to go down the path of an active working environment, everyone should be involved. Remember: standing desks are a powerful investment in employee wellness and health.

  • Body is designed to sit and stand throughout the day. There are many ways to get your standing throughout the day without the need for a sit-to-stand option. 
  • Sit-to-stand options can be useful and make the ability to stand more readily available. If you do have this options, here is what you need to look out to ensure proper utilization. 
    • Most start at 15-20 mins within the hour in the beginning then it grows.
    • 4-6 hours per day after 30 days. 
    • Start off slowly- taking breaks. 
    • Listen to your body. 
    • The flat surface and flat shoes (no heels!)
    • Weight distribution right below hips and arms at a right angle looking straight ahead and slightly down.
    • Don’t do continuous 8 hours of standing. 

Can standing instead of sitting at work help your health?

Sitting is the new smoking.

Sitting all day in front of a computer can negatively effect your health. We sit much more than we have ever done. Sitting can effect your spine by placing pressure on the muscle, tendons, and disc. I see many patients who have pain from sitting in a bad position ( poor posture) all day.

Another way sitting effects our health is through muscle activity. When we sit our muscles turn off because the body is at rest. This leads to reduced muscle metabolism. This effects lipid (fats) and glucose metabolism and blood flow. Muscle required glucose and lipids to work.

Human physiology is not well adapted to prolonged periods of inactivity, with time spent sitting increasing cardiovascular disease and mortality risk. Health risks from sitting are generally linked with reduced levels of muscle contractions.

Standing some part of the day will help improve our health. When you stand it requires some muscle activation(contraction). Higher levels of muscle activation can improve your health.

In short, sitting all day can cause you to have poor posture and increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28378964/ https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55b7ffebe4b0568a75e3316b/t/5f29af75c1a0cc18764d8c83/1596567416162/Sitting%2C+Squatting%2C+and+the+Evolutionary+Biology+of+Human+Inactivity.pdf https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30409414/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30929574/

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A.K.A. CTS

Carpal Tunnel Prevention

Wrist pain.  Hand pain.  Maybe you’ve felt this condition while sitting at the computer typing out work assessments, during a long session of playing video games, or swiping left or right on a phone or tablet screen repeatedly.  Perhaps you lift weights and experience it in the middle of an intense workout, or while holding heavy construction tools.  Whatever the cause may be, whether it’s from typing for long periods of time, holding a phone for a long time, or holding a jackhammer, the immediate conclusion people think of is a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

But what is this syndrome?  Is all wrist pain automatically carpal tunnel syndrome, or is it possibly something else?  

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an entrapment neuropathy.1  Think of a pinch in a hose line caused by stepping on it, and you can visualize a similar compression of the nerve as it travels down through the wrist and into the hand.  The nerve, in particular, known as the median nerve, travels through a bony area in the wrist called – you guessed it – the carpal tunnel. 

The carpal tunnel itself is a narrow passageway inside your wrist surrounded by bones and ligaments.  Compression, or pinching, of the median nerve, can create symptoms including numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand, wrist, and arm.2

Carpal tunnel is the most common of neuropathies, or nerve conditions, with over 90% of neuropathic cases being from carpal tunnel compression.1

Typing with poor wrist position is a cause of wrist pain.

Carpal tunnel can be caused by a variety of circumstances and conditions as well.  CTS is more likely to occur in people who hold vibrating tools or work in an assembly line, engage in work that requires repetitive flexing of the wrist such as typing,  take certain medications, have inflammatory conditions, or have poor wrist and hand ergonomics.2 

The most common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include genetic predisposition, history of repetitive wrist movements such as typing, or machine work as well as obesity, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, and pregnancy.1  However, repetitive motions are a high-risk factor in developing carpal tunnel symptoms due to the repetitive activities inflaming the tendons that run through the carpal tunnel.  This inflammation can lead to compression of the median nerve.3

Symptoms usually start gradually, in one or both hands during the night, with frequent numbness or tingling in the fingers.4  Some people report their hands and fingers even feel useless, clumsy, and unresponsive or even feel swollen, although little or no swelling is apparent!

Unfortunately, many cases of the wrist and forearm pain are automatically diagnosed as CTS without truly examining all possible causes of the pain, or even confirming if the painful condition is truly CTS.

The million-dollar question: Is every hand and wrist issue created by an issue with the nerve inside the carpal tunnel?  The short answer: no!

Another condition, called Pronator Teres Syndrome (PTS), is very similar to CTS in the way it manifests.  PTS causes similar sensations to carpal tunnel syndrome, including weakness, tingling, pain, and numbness. 

However, Pronator Teres Syndrome is caused by a muscle in the forearm – it has nothing to do with the carpal tunnel in the wrist and hand!  

Pronator Teres Syndrome describes a condition where the median nerve is also compressed, but the cause is distinctly muscular.5  The Pronator Teres muscle in the forearm becomes over-used: think of excessive repetitive motions involved in our usual activities of daily living.  Maybe the repetitive motion is from an aspiring college tennis player perfecting her swing daily or someone who works in a kitchen, ladling soup, and washing dishes.  Maybe it’s the guy who wants to Do-It-Yourself a new kitchen in his home, and he’s swinging a hammer to break up old kitchen fixtures.  Whatever the repetitive cause, the same motions cause scar tissue, adhesions, or muscular restrictions to set up housekeeping inside the muscle and entrap the Median Nerve, causing forearm, wrist, and hand symptoms – much like CTS.

Both syndromes cause similar pain but must be treated differently to achieve the desired results.  Imagine being treated for one condition with no change in pain and no results – when you actually have the other and need a different treatment altogether! 

What can you do if you have wrist and hand pain?  Your first line of defense is a physical examination of the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck by your trained chiropractic physician.  He or she can help determine if the person’s complaints are related to daily activities, such as overuse or poor ergonomics, or due to an underlying disorder such as carpal tunnel or pronator teres syndrome.

Many cases of carpal tunnel can be treated conservatively or without surgical intervention.  Splinting, changing your daily routine, chiropractic care, soft tissue work, and other forms of treatment exist that safely improve and resolve a painful wrist condition.4

In the meantime, if you’re suffering from wrist and hand pain and you’re waiting for your next doctor’s appointment, here are some basic, easy stretches you can do on your own.  Remember, these are a method of prevention, not treatment for any wrist or forearm condition.

Perform each stretch to tolerance (meaning, don’t hurt yourself!) for two sets, with 15-second holds on each arm.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

  • Begin standing with your arm straightened in front of you at chest level, palm facing down.
  • Flex arm and stretch fingers down and back with the opposite hand.
  • Straighten arm while keeping tension on fingers.
  • Rotate arm by twisting fingers inward.

Thumb Flexor Stretch

  • Flex the arm.
  • Extend wrist back, allowing fingers to curl inward.
  • Stretch thumb back toward the arm.

Did you have fun with those stretches?  Did they cause any discomfort, or did it feel good to stretch those hand and forearm muscles?

Keep in mind, there are other conditions that can affect the wrist, forearm, and elbow, and if you are having pain besides carpal tunnel and pronator teres muscles.  We only addressed two common causes here.  Your local chiropractor is well-versed in extremity conditions that can create discomfort and affect your ability to work and play. 


  1. Sevy, J.O., and Varacallo, M. (2020). Carpal tunnel syndrome. StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing; Treasure Island (FL): Mar.
  2. “Carpal tunnel syndrome.” MayoClinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20355603.
  3. Mooar PA, et al. Management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2018 Mar 15;26(6):e128-e130.
  4. “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Updated April 2020. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome-Fact-sheet
  5. Dididze, M., Tafti, D., and Sherman, A.I. (2020). Carpal tunnel syndrome. StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing; Treasure Island (FL): May.



Monitors should be visible without leaning or straining, and the top line of type should be 15 degrees below eye level.

Use audio equipment that keeps you from bending your neck (i.e., Bluetooth, speakerphones, headsets).

Keep your shoulders relaxed and elbows bent to 90 degrees.

Wrists should not be bent while at the keyboard. Forearms and wrists should not be leaning on a hard edge.

Keep frequently used objects, like your telephone, close to your body to prevent excessive reaching.

Take a 10-second break every 20 minutes: Micro activities include: walking, stretching, or moving your head in a “plus sign” fashion.

Do a micro break.

Another video about the desk set and suggestion on how a workstation should.

Have a question about your workstation? Dr. Steve can help with that! Contact our office so you can make sure you’re workstation isn’t contributing to pain.