Whether you work the night shift filing reports at your office, or you just do a regular 9-5, you can find yourself spending a lot of time sitting at your desk, in front of a monitor and keyboard. It can get tedious and tiresome. And on some occasions, it can even give you a killer bit of back ache. Working in that same position over a number of years can turn something rather minor into a very serious problem, so it is important to try and nip it in the bud before it becomes anything to write home about.
It can be difficult to find the time to help improve your posture and prevent back problems, but it will certainly be worth it in the long run as we spend a good portion of our working lives in one position and it can have an effect on our joints and muscles over time. Read on for 5 tips we have put together to help office workers improve their posture and help prevent back problems from occurring later on in life.
Consider a Standing Desk
It might take a little while to get used to the idea of standing up for the same amount of time you spend sitting down at the office, but people often work longer shifts at supermarkets, so it is certainly possible! Having a standing desk prevents the need for expensive chairs and can also help in offices where space is an issue.
If you don’t have a specific office space, standing desks can be a good way of keeping things fresh as people move around from desk to desk, spending time in different spaces. As you are no longer sitting down all day, you will find any back pain and of course, your posture, improving day by day.
Get a Back Cushion
If standing desks are simply not an option, you can consider getting a special back cushion designed to push your spine forward and improve your posture. Back cushions are designed to sit at your lower back, giving you the support needed without twisting your spine awkwardly. While you can always use a regular pillow, there are specially designed pillows in a particular shape that help to straighten your spine and improve your posture in a firm, yet gentle way.
Take Regular Short Breaks
Sometimes all you need to prevent back pain and improve the way you hold yourself is to take short breaks away from your desk. It can be hard to concentrate for long periods of time if you confine yourself to a certain space for long periods of time, so taking breaks have a lot of health benefits.
It can be as simple as getting up to get a cup of coffee, having an impromptu discussion with a workmate at their desk, or going for a short walk around the block. Making that change of pace gives you a chance to stretch the limbs out and also helps to refresh your brain which, in turn, improves concentration and allows you to focus more clearly on the task at hand. One long lunch hour is lovely but short, simple breaks really help to improve concentration yet still keep the productivity flowing.
Get an Ergonomic Chair
If you have serious back pain problems or other problems, you could raise the issue with your manager or employer. Employee health and comfort should be a top priority for employers as they are the ones doing a lot of the work! Raise your concerns with your employer and they might be able to invest in a specially designed ergonomic chair that can improve your posture and reduce long-term back pain. There are specially designed chairs that can tackle a wide range of issues, so it is important that you choose the right one to suit you. Try to test it out before you buy! You want it to improve your posture, not make any issues you have worse!
Do a Couple of Desk Exercises
Variety is the spice of life. As with taking short breaks away from your desk, having desk exercises for you to pass the time will help you to keep active and prevent the aches and pains from settling in when you stay in one position for too long. If you have ever given blood, some of the exercises they give you to do while donating can also work pretty well as desk exercising. Crossing and uncrossing your legs, lifting and holding one leg above the ground at a time and slowly clenching and unclenching your buttocks can all subconsciously help you with your posture and prevent your muscles from seizing up over long periods of inactivity.
Whether you prefer to tailor your workspace to suit your needs, or you like the idea of changing it up with breaks and walks every now and then, it is important that you feel comfortable in your job. You should never be in pain or feel as if you cannot speak to your boss about making life a little easier in the office. Of course, don’t take it too far, but it is in the best interests of your employer that they ensure you are happy in the office.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Whiteleys Office Furniture; South East England’s office fit out and practical office furniture specialist.