Common injuries

Posture and workstation

Correct workstation set up is very important in helping maintain good posture and reduce the risk of an injury. Office related injuries due to a combination of lengthy sitting and poor posture may have the potential to cause.

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Repetitive use injuries to the elbows, wrists and hands
  • Headaches
  • Decreased blood circulation throughout the body

Symptoms may include pain, fatigue, muscle discomfort, stiffness, weakness, numbness and tingling. Sometimes symptoms can worsen during the day or the week and initially improve over the weekends or holidays.

 A typical poor desk posture includes the shoulders and neck hunched forwards and lower back slumped. This can occur due to poor equipment/computer placement and muscle fatigue. It is important to maintain the body in a neutral position while working to help reduce the strain and stress on the musculoskeletal system and reduce the risk of injuries turning into chronic conditions.

 Ideal work station set up:


Top of the screen at eye level and a comfortable reading distance


Head is in line with shoulders. Shoulders are relaxed. Forearms are parallel to the floor. Minimal bend to the wrists


Should have lumbar support and arm rests. Adjust to correct height


Thighs are parallel to the floor. Feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest

Important tips to remember:

  • Take regular breaks and mix alternative work tasks with computer tasks throughout the day. Worksafe NZ recommends a 5-10 minute break every hour or timed to match a natural break or change in work task.
  • Regular micropauses are beneficial to reduce fatigue. This can include taking the hands away from the keyboard and hanging arms down by your side. Also changing eye focus by looking away from the computer screen into the distance.
  • Standing on a rubber mat is preferred over a hard concrete floor
  • Have a good stretching and strengthening programme to help counteract the effects of bad posture
  • Keep physically active outside of work. Ministry of Health NZ recommends at least 2 ½ hours of moderate or 1 ¼ hours of vigorous physical activity spread though out the week.
  • Ensure you report discomfort, pain or an injury early. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to delayed recovery

If you would like further advice or to go through specific postural related rehabilitation programme please make an appointment with one of our highly experienced physiotherapists at Sportsmed Mosgiel Physiotherapy.


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