Tips to untangle your spine

Aug 01, 2005
By staff

Feel that pinch in your back? Or maybe your wrists ache. Perhaps you've got a chronic case of phone neck—that permanent crick from bracing the phone with your neck while you scribble a message about Fifi's chronic diarrhea for the doctor. Use these tips to ease the strain:

1. Keep the items you use most, such as your phone or stapler, close by so that you don't have to reach or twist.

2. Stop frequently to stretch or stroll around the office to warm up your muscles—even if your trip is only to the display counter to straighten a displaced toy or treat.

3. Use a phone headset to give your neck a break and free up your hands for other tasks while you talk.

4. Reposition your computer. The top of your monitor should be at or just below eye level. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your lower back supported.

5. If you're using hand tools that vibrate, use gloves or padding to insulate your hands.

6. Take frequent breaks when carrying heavy objects. Use carts and dollies when possible.

7. Use tape or foam to increase the diameter of tool handles so they fit your hands comfortably. This reduces the force of your grip. As you squeeze the handle, the pressure spreads evenly over your hand.