If you’re working in an office, take a look around. Do you see a sea of hunched shoulders, squinting eyes and towers of precariously piled paper? Do you see stained coffee mugs, stomachs spilling over waistbands and used tissues abandoned in in-trays?
Desk life does not have to be this way. Whether you’re an office worker, a self-employed homeworker, or a student, it’s time to adopt better desk practises. Bad habits lead to bad health. Change your ways today and improve the condition of your body and mind with these top tips.
Curved spines, slumped shoulders and crossed legs are the building blocks for backache. Interestingly, bad posture is also thought to contribute to digestive and circulatory problems, depression and stress. To top it off, it simply makes you look heavier. To improve your posture, first you need to make sure you have a good chair. Calibre Office Furniture provide a great range of ergonomically designed operator chairs, which support your lower back and can be adjusted to your height. Once you’ve found the right chair for you, align your spine by ensuring your knees are level with your hips, keep your feet flat on the floor and square your shoulders. If you’re working with printed paperwork, position it on a stand next to your monitor so you do not have to keep raising and lowering your head while you work.
More and more of us are suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which is an umbrella term for a range of vision problems that are caused by computer use. Symptoms include blurred and double vision, dry eyes, eye irritation and headaches. Rearranging your desk can help you lessen the strain screen time puts on your eyes. The best place for your monitor is thought to be an arm’s length away and slightly below eye level. Make sure you take regular breaks from the screen to prevent aching eyes at the end of the day.
Repetitive strain injury
As the name suggests, repetitive strain injury (RSI) can be caused by repetitive activity. It can also be the result of forceful actions or overuse. The symptoms of this condition include upper limb pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling and cramp. To avoid RSI, ensure both your keyboard and your mouse are in easy reach and pay attention to their settings. Slow your mouse down to decrease the tension in your hand and use keyboard shortcuts to reduce the need for navigating and performing commands with a mouse. You may also consider using ‘predictive text’ and ‘autocorrect’ tools to lower the number of keystrokes you need to perform.
Tidy desk, tidy mind
A cluttered, unorganised desk not only hampers productivity, it can also contribute to stress. Of course, your desk is bound to get a little untidy from time to time, but if it’s in a constant state of chaos, it’s time to address your habits. Your mental health is likely to be improved somewhat by a good clear out. Throw out any unnecessary paperwork and file away anything that you don’t need to hand on a daily basis. Make use of drawers, folders, in-trays and other storage solutions to create an easy-to-manage workspace. Get rid of stray coffee cups, dying plants, empty containers and other detritus. If you’re suffering from a cold, keep a hand sanitiser at your desk and dispose of used tissues appropriately. Photographs of loved ones can be great mood-lifters and motivators in the workplace but having more than one or two is likely to cause distraction so choose a favourite and leave the rest at home.
Too much sitting has proven detrimental effects on health, even if you manage to get the recommended amount of exercise when you’re not sedentary. Sitting for hours on end day after day has been linked to a number of problems, such as heart disease, disability, obesity and mental illness. Consider adding a standing desk to your office to reduce the amount of time you spend seated. If a standing desk is not feasible, ensure you take breaks from your chair from time to time. Stretch your legs and your mind by taking a walk around the office at regular intervals or by simply standing up now and again to wake yourself up. You could even go and put the kettle on and treat your colleagues to a nice refreshing cup of green tea!
Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Post.