How to optimize your workstation and posture to prevent pain and injury.
In the modern work world many of us spend our days sitting at a desk in front of the computer. The human body however was not designed for this sedentary lifestyle and will get stiff and sore from lack of movement. Even if you are active outside of work, sitting at a desk with poor setup and slouched posture can give you chronic aches and pains or exacerbate existing injuries.
Some common complaints that could be related to your posture include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
- Shoulder pain
- Upper back stiffness
- Low back pain
Making some simple ergonomic adjustments to your workstation can help you feel more comfortable during and after your work day:
- Ensure you have a good chair that is comfortable for you and adjusted properly. Ideally you should be sitting with your buttocks to the back of the chair so that you are leaning against the backrest. You may need to adjust the lumbar support or add a rolled up towel or small pillow behind the small of your back to support your spine’s natural curve.
- Sit with both feet flat on the floor and the knees bent to about 90 degrees. Adjust your chair height accordingly or add a stool under your feet if you can’t touch the ground.
- Adjust your computer monitor so that your screen is at eye level. This can be as easy as putting a book underneath to raise it up. You should not have to look down or strain to see your computer.
- Have your keyboard at a comfortable height so that your elbows are bent to approximately 90 degrees and you are not reaching forward. If you have a laptop, consider using an external keyboard so that you type in a neutral position.
- Adapt your workstation to fit you. Move things that you use frequently throughout the day (such as the phone, files, etc.) to a location that is easy to access so that you don’t have to reach or move awkwardly to get to them. This will help you avoid sprains and strains from poor movement patterns.
Even with the perfect ergonomic setup, poor posture can catch up to you. Some common habits to AVOID are:
- Crossing your knees. Sitting in this position twists your pelvis and lumbar spine, putting extra strain on the muscles, joints, and ligaments. While it may feel good temporarily, you probably need to keep switching positions to stay comfortable because your body is not in a neutral position.
- Perching on the front of your seat. While you may think it is good to try to hold yourself up straight without using the backrest it is not realistic to do this for an 8 hour day. Your postural muscles will fatigue quickly and you will end up slouching and feeling sore.
- Leaning your shoulders forward and head down to look at your computer. Think of all the extra strain you are putting on your neck and shoulder to hold your body in this position! Try to remind yourself to sit up tall – Think shoulders down and back and head up. Your spine should feel long and supported, but not rigid.
It is also important to stay active throughout the day and break up long periods of sitting in one position. Here are some ideas to keep you limber throughout the day:
· Set an alarm to get up and move every 20-30 minutes. This could be as simple as standing up to do some stretches, taking a quick walk around the office, a washroom break, or going to get some water. Interrupted sitting is the best way to prevent tightness from building up in your spine and soft tissues
· Stretch at your desk. There are lots of simple movements and stretches you can do as you work to keep your body feeling good. Try to remember to move a little bit at least every 15-20 minutes. Try stretching your neck side to side, moving your head gently in different directions, rolling your shoulders backwards, squeezing your shoulder blades together, stretching your legs out in front of you, and moving your feet and ankles.
We hope these tips have been helpful and have given you ideas that you can incorporate into your daily life. Do not hesitate to call us and make an appointment. An in depth one-on-one assessment with one of our physiotherapists will help address your specific needs for injury prevention or management.
Written by Stephanie Connolly
The Red Deer Polytechnic Alumni Association is inviting you to Palate: A Taste of Local
Palate: A Taste of Local is an elegant tasting experience, featuring 35 food and beverage vendors from across central Alberta. This award-winning event will take place on October 19. Do you have your tickets yet? Your ticket includes everything you need for a full tasting experience, with no hidden costs. Consider treating your team, your clients, or your friends and family to a night out while supporting our local business community, RDP Alumni Relations and RDP students at this year’s kick-off to Homecoming – Palate: A Taste of Local!
Get your tickets now! Please note, this event is 18+.
This signature event, presented by the Red Deer Polytechnic Alumni Association (RDPAA), provides an elevated tasting experience, with a focus on local food producers, craft breweries and distilleries and restaurateurs. At Palate, we celebrate the amazing vendors and alumni businesses that call Central Alberta home. If you’re interested in seeing your name on this event, sponsorship opportunities are still available, with more information here.
Palate: A Taste of Local
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Cenovus Energy Learning Common | Red Deer Polytechnic
Palate: A Taste of Local is an elegant tasting event that builds on the well-established reputation of the Fine Wine and Food Tasting Festival. We’ve combined the elegant experience you have enjoyed in the past with new elements we know you are going to love. This redesigned special event recently received national recognition, earning a silver medal in the annual Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education Prix d’Excellence!
Your ticket is all-inclusive, providing access to all of the items available from every vendor attending the Palate. There are no extra costs – the only thing you have to worry about, is how you will be able to sample everything.
Begin your evening with a champagne toast as you enter the event space. Palate vendors will offer a variety of food items, including sweet, savoury and international dishes, as well as small batch spirits, craft beer and soda, hand-crafted cocktails and mocktails, and other beverages.
Guests will immerse themselves in central Alberta’s local food and beverage culture, meeting the makers, owners and mixologists that bring these flavours to life while networking with other alumni and guests.
Bo’s Bar & Stage
The Curvy Bottle
Cilantro & Chive
C Zone Coffee
Dark Woods Brewing and Coffee Roasting
Delidais Estate Winery (DNA Gardens)
Field and Forge Gastro Pub
Hash & Forno
Memphis Blues Barbeque House
One Eleven Grill
Oodles of Chocolates
Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse
Red Deer Resort and Casino
Red Deer Polytechnic Cook Apprentice Program
|Red Hart Brewing
Riverbend Golf & Recreation
Snake Lake Brewing
Solarzano Spa Café & Wine Bar
State & Main
Stems Flowers & Café
Showcasing 30+ central Alberta Vendors
Are you interested in being a part of Palate?
Showcase your business with a cash or gift-in-kind sponsorship, beginning at $500.
RDP Alumni Association
Our signature fundraising event, Palate, empowers us to make a difference.
Looking for Additional Information?
Are you ready? Palate: A Taste of Local is on October 19, 2023. Tickets are on sale now. Your ticket includes a champagne welcome and the opportunity to sample all of the food and beverages offered. Tickets are $75, including taxes and fees. Get yours.
We heard great feedback from guests of Palate last year, and we can’t wait to tell you what’s new for this year! Check out some of our favourite photos from last year’s event to relive the magic!
Palate: A Taste of Local is the signature event that kicks off Homecoming at Red Deer Polytechnic. Homecoming activities include many ways to connect with your alumni community, local leaders, RDP staff and faculty, and current students.
Thank you to our Palate: A Taste of Local 2023 Sponsors
|Special Event Rentals|
Generous donation from Alumni bolsters LTCHS Music Program with special “Roadhammers” guitar
Lindsay Thurber alumnus craft custom guitar for a good cause
A guitar with special meaning is coming home thanks to two Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School Music Program alumnus who are passionate about supporting youth and strive to make a meaningful difference in the community.
As part of their quest to help make a difference, this year Jennah Salls and Jazdn Moore decided to support the Clayton Bellamy Foundation for the Arts by building an electric guitar made from all local wood in Central Alberta. Proceeds from the event will help support the build of an arts centre in Lakeland.
“This guitar project sparked from a combination of everything we’re passionate about. Being such big fans of music and its impact, alongside our goal to give back to our community as much as possible, once we discovered the Clayton Bellamy Foundation, the vision all came together,” said Jennah. “We wanted to build this guitar to have the experience under our belt and since it had so much potential to be a part of something bigger, it was a no brainer to tie it into the Clayton Bellamy Foundation.”
Construction of the guitar began under the mentorship of local luthier David Gilmore with Gilmore Guitars. “We then decided to kick it up a notch by starting a fundraiser around our community with the hopes of raising as much money as possible for the Foundation’s cause,” said Jazdn.
The guitar was auctioned off at the Clayton Bellamy Foundation For The Arts event in Bonnyville earlier this month.
“This fundraiser also was designed to try and raise the winning bid to be able to bring the guitar back to Red Deer considering that the auction for the foundation takes place outside of our community,” said Jennah. “Our mission was to get it into the hands of other youth by donating it to the LTCHS music program as alumni. To further support Clayton’s amazing objective, we also decided to put in a custom made coffee station, coffee table and end table set as an auction item. It’s just been an incredible journey building this guitar and dreaming bigger and bigger as each day goes by and we simply want to make the biggest impact possible with this project!”
Thanks to the generous support of the community, Jennah and Jazdn were able to put a winning bid of $11,000 for the guitar. The custom furniture also went for $8,500.
As a result, the custom built guitar was given to Lindsay Thurber so that students in the music program can have an opportunity to play it and feel its impact.
“We are so grateful to benefit from Jennah and Jazdn’s commitment to the arts and their passion for supporting the community,” said Jennifer Mann, Music Director at Lindsay Thurber. “The story of the guitar and Jennah and Jazdn’s generosity will live on for years to come through our music program.”
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