For many office workers, their job has literally become a pain in the neck. While standing desks are becomingly an increasingly popular option for those who suffer physical discomfort at work, a researcher at McGill University in Quebec says her study of treadmill workstations show them to be potentially more beneficial and able to help diminish work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Kinesiology researchers at the Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab in Laval, Quebec’s Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital, led by McGill professor Julie Cote, are studying ways to reduce or even prevent muscular and skeletal stresses and pains. Cote was the laboratory director for a Masters thesis, by Larissa Fedorowich, which shows that walking while working on a computer may lead to healthier muscular patterns. The research was published this year in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.
“There are studies recently that show that you lose weight because you would exert more calories, but we were more interested in knowing about the muscles that do the work. The muscles in the neck/shoulder region are the ones that feel the pain and experience fatigue,” says Cote, an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education whose research focuses on biomechanics and ergonomics.