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Pain-Free at Work Topics

Pain-Free at Work Topics

Computer Rest Break Programs: Ergonomic Software for Workplace Health Decrease Computer Health Problems

Taking rest breaks in the workplace is one of the best ways to prevent repetitive strain injuries and avoid computer back pain, computer wrist pain, computer neck pain or computer headaches. New ergonomic software products for better workplace health have been designed to remind you to take rest breaks from your computer-based activities.

It sounds easy to take a break, but as you start to concentrate on the business at hand, you will undoubtedly forget about your posture and taking breaks. That is where workplace injury prevention or ergonomic software steps in to keep you on track.

Purpose of Computer Rest Break Programs

  • Reminds you when to take regular micro-breaks

  • Reminds you when to take longer, stretch breaks

  • Reminds you to watch your posture

  • Helps bring awareness to any tension you may hold in your body while working at a desk

  • Takes you through desk exercises and stretches

Benefits of Computer Rest Break Programs

  • Can be effective tools to reduce your risk of a repetitive strain injury

  • Can reduce computer health problems such as computer back pain, computer neck pain and computer headaches

  • Can minimize the cumulative effects of prolonged sitting

  • Can improve productivity by improving mental focus and decreasing errors

There are several computer rest break programs out there, but only a few I really like. I have talked to all of my ergonomic experts as well as hand therapists and I would like to share with you the best computer break reminder software on the market:


RSI Guard Desktop Ergonomic Software, RSIGuard Stretch Edition



RSIGuard is an award-winning desktop ergonomic software solution that reduces the impact of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) for office workers. RSI Guard is available for both PC and Mac users.

This computer rest break program has a number of wonderful features that will help you avoid repetitive strain injuries and chronic pain related to computer usage. The features remind you to take breaks at the appropriate time, give stretching demonstrations, help bring awareness to your posture and bad habits at a desk and can decrease your mouse or keyboard usage.

Click here for a detailed description of RSIGuard features

Prolonged computer use without sufficient rest breaks can lead to RSI symptoms such as pain, stiffness, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling.

RSIGuard minimizes your risk of workplace injuries by:

  • Reminding you to take rests when you need them

  • Helping you monitor your work patterns, posture and muscle tension

  • Limit your mouse and keyboard-related use (if appropriate)

RSIGuard can help you because:

  • Your habits at work are just as important to your workplace health as your office ergonomic set up.

  • Injuries and fatigue lead to loss of productivity

  • Injuries can raise insurance premiums, hurting you and your organization

  • Taking rest breaks may improve your energy level

  • Taking rest breaks can reduce the frequency of errors leading to more efficiency

  • You deserve to feel better at work so you can feel better at play

Stress Management In The Workplace

Learning the signs of workplace stress and how to manage it are critical to maintaining good health. How do you manage your stress in the workplace?

Stress negatively impacts your body.  The Pain Free at Work Video would not be complete without some discussion on how to alleviate stress at work and minimize its effects on the body. Here is some additional information on stress management in the workplace to help you:

What Workplace Stress Can Do To Your Body

Decrease your immune system
Slow healing of tendons, ligaments and other tissue within the body
Negatively affect your sleep
Cause Depression or Anxiety
Change your eating habits
Digestive problems
Jaw Pain
Increase blood pressure
Chest Pain
Speed up aging


Signs of Stress at Work

Decreased energy 
Easily angered
Fear of failure at work
Decreased ability to focus
Negative Thoughts
Inability to finish work projects
Feeling overwhelmed

Workplace Stress Management Techniques

Just as there are many, many types of stress, there are just as many stress management techniques.  No one technique is the magic bullet.  I’ve talked to a variety of  stress management experts and find that, despite their different approaches, they all have advice that can help us. 

Here are some resources to assist you in your search for the RIGHT METHOD of stress reduction FOR YOU:

Manage Work Stress with Meditation and Deep Breathing

It is easy to want to withdraw from other people when you are stressed out and depressed, but being around friends and family can decrease your bodies stress hormone levels. 

Manage Stress At Work with Exercise

I recommend some form of cardiovascular/aerobic exercise to reduce stress.  Breaking a sweat can release endorphins, which not only make you feel better but can reduce pain as well.  Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi are also great stress busters because they are what I call "meditation in movement".

Foam Rollers

The Pain Free at Work Video has an optional 5 -minute foam roller "After Work Workout".  Foam rollers are ideal for people who spend a lot of time at a desk. They enable you to open up your chest and shoulders and provide a good way to work on core stability.

You will need a standard size foam roller (6" x 3') for the Pain Free at Work workoutFor your convenience, I have partnered up with Perform Better! and you can purchase your Foam Rollers here.

Perform Better! is also a great place to find any other fitness equipment you may need for the Pain Free At Work DVD (such as an exercise mat or stability ball).  They have a good selection of exercise tools and fitness equipment for most fitness goals.  Check out their exercise bands and tubing, BOSU Balance Trainers and Posture Balls. 

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