Local Physician Campaigns to Fight Office Pain

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MSU professor and osteopathic family physician Lisa DeStefano hears the same complaints over and over...

"They tend to get a lot of low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, primarily because of poor posture and sitting," said DeStefano, an Associate Professor at MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine.

These people have what she calls "office pain." And they are not alone. A new survey from the American Osteopathic Association revealed that two out of three office workers experience these symptoms because of their work lives.

"Low physical activity throughout the day and throughout their life time leads to more and more muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, poor balance, and then osteoarthritis," said DeStefano.

Dr. DeStefano was so disturbed by the results of the study that she helped start a national campaign against office pain. She and the AOA provide tips for the more than 70 percent of office workers who sit for more than 5 hours a day. Kimberly Betts is one of her patients who has utilized the tips.

"Stretching at home... I also run, and that exercise really helps me with just sitting here those long hours," said Betts, an Executive Assistant at MSU.

According to the study, businesses lose hundreds of billions a year due to loss of productivity caused by pain. Dr. DeStefano hopes to help remedy the pain that plagues so many.

There are several easy tips to help prevent physical pain at work. Sit up straight at your desk. Keep your feet flat on the floor, and keep your eyes straight ahead at the computer screen and your elbows in.