What we’ll cover
  1. Work related pain
  2. How to set up your work station?
  3. What to do at work
  4. Exercises to do at home

Do you suffer from work related pain such a low back pain?  Correct desk set up and ergonomics can assist in reducing the likelihood of work related pain. Our physiotherapist Amelia discusses how you can treat and prevent this!

Work related pain

Work related pain is a large cause of disability and absenteeism, with low back pain being the leading cause of work related disability worldwide. From 2012-2013 work related injury and illness cost Australia over $60 billion.

The reasons so many individuals suffer from work related pain is:

– Poor posture

– Prolonged static sitting or standing

– Excessive use of hand held device

– Repetitive movements

– Poor work positions

When you are sitting at your desk hunched over, your muscles such as chest and neck muscles at the front get strong and tight whereas your muscles on your back such as the trapezius and deep neck flexor become sore from trying to be used but in a poor position. The lumbar region also suffers due to increased activation and use of hip flexors and quads and decreased use of glutes and core.

Work related pain is not just limited to the neck and back. Prolonged sitting in poor positions or repetitive movements is often a big contributor to well-known conditions such as carpel tunnel in the wrists, ‘tennis elbow’ in the elbow and sciatica along the back of the leg.

Although stand up desks have lots of benefits in relation to reduction in cardiovascular and chronic diseases, standing still for prolonged periods of time can also be detrimental to musculoskeletal functioning.


avoid work related pain with ergonomics

How to set up your work station?

Height adjustable swivel chair set so that the feet rest comfortably on the ground. If this makes the height too low use a footrest. Knees level with or slightly below hip height.

Backrest: if the backrest of the chair does not support the natural curves of your back add a lumbar support to the curve of your lower back.

Monitor: the top line of text on your screen should be at eye level.

Desk: ensure things that use frequently are placed directly in front of you, so you are not repeatedly reaching for things. Alternatively, placing items used semi-frequently completely out of reach might be a good technique to use for regular small rests from static sitting or standing.

Keyboard: elbows bent at sides and forearms parallel to the floor. Keyboard aligned with the monitor so you don’t have to twist / rotate to use either.

Mouse: position the mouse where the weight of your arm can be supported by the desk. Keep wrist in neutral position.

Phone use: if constant phone use, consider a headset to avoid cradling the phone on your shoulder.

Laptops: designed for short-term use. If prolonged use, try to connect them to stand alone equipment such as a separate screen or keyboard and mouse, practice touch typing to reduce incidence of looking down at the keys.

What to do at work

Take a short break every 30-50 minutes.   This can be as simple as getting up for a cup of coffee, tea or water, taking a bathroom break or even a short walk.  Other exercises that be beneficial include stretching exercises such as the following:

  • Open book stretch


  • Cervical rotations

  • Pelvic tilts

  • Lumbar rotations

Exercises to do at home

Strengthening exercises are great for the prevention of exercises away from the office.  Mobility exercises and stretching are extremely beneficial but another important and often overlooked step in successful prevention of work related pain or rehabilitation is strengthening.

Some helpful strengthening exercises are:

  • Low row
  • Chin tuck
  • Glut bridges
  • Dead bug

If you are experiencing work related pain, book in to see one of our qualified physiotherapists to treat your symptoms and prevent any further pain or injury. You can book online or call our friendly team on 9571 6888.

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Back to school 🔙📚

Last week we were fortunate enough to head back to uni and refresh our anatomy knowledge at @latrobeuni in the anatomy labs. 

Thank you to the Latrobe School of Physiotherapy for inviting us! Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone.

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