It might sound funny but good telephone talking posture will go a long way to prevent a serious repetitive use injury at the office. The human body was not made to sit at a desk all day long answering the telephone. It was made to run and jump and play outside, so when all we do is sit and talk and pinch a phone between our shoulder and our ear with our heads cocked to the side, some very serious neck injuries can develop over time.

Never cradle the phone in your neck as it pulls your cervical spin out of alignment. It also lifts the shoulder into a weird and awkward position for the body to maintain. If it’s a short call once or twice per day, it probably will not cause major problems, but when office workers do this for an hour at a time, tiny support muscles get strained and injuries develop. Severe neck pain, numbness and tingling in the hands, bad headaches — these are just some of the symptoms of bad telephone posture.

Preventing a repetitive use injury from the phone, however, is easy through the use of an ergonomic headset. These devices allow you to move your head and neck around freely in alignment, and they also give your hands and arms complete freedom and mobility to move around. All you have to do is adjust the microphone, speak, and listen. A headset is the most natural way to talk on the phone and it will prevent a lot of injuries.

There are a lot more things that workers can do to prevent office-related repetitive use injuries, but for those who are reading this right now, they may have already suffered an injury and need help pursuing a workers’ compensation claim for medical benefits. Fortunately, many Illinois workers will have the right to seek benefits if they are dealing with a serious workplace ailment caused by bad telephone posture.

Source: Illinois State University News, “Finding the perfect posture: Five workplace ergonomic tips,” Rachel Hatch, accessed July 29, 2016