Everyone who works in an office often knows to regularly move, take breaks and stretch throughout the day. However, many of us are guilty of not doing this.
It’s not unknown that sitting for over 8 hours a day can lead to poor posture, muscle aches and ongoing pain in the shoulders, back and neck. That’s why, setting your desk up to be ergonomically friendly is essential to your health and wellbeing. From setting your screen about an arm’s length away to keeping your screens at eye level, these changes can improve your muscles and joint health, dramatically.
However, while you can change your workplace to become more ergonomically friendly, changing your daily habits are the key to improving your overall health and wellbeing. Our daily habits often contribute to the pain and discomfort we experience throughout the day. With that in mind, here are a few workplace habits you should adopt to support your ergonomically friendly office setup.
Set reminders to move
Setting reminders throughout the day to complete deskercise is an effective way to ensure that you achieve them. Deskercise is the stretches and exercises you can complete at your desk to stretch and strengthen your muscles. Deskercise such as neck stretches, wrist movements and shoulder shrugs are perfect to add to your daily routine while sitting at your desk.
Stretching and moving frequently allows your muscles to maintain blood flow throughout the day. If you don’t have time to stretch, find a good reason to get up from your desk. Grab a cup of coffee or take a lap around the room.
Adopt the 20 – 20 –20 rule
Regardless of your workplace setup, using laptops and technology is unavoidable, especially in today’s society. Over time, our eyes often take a toll and can result in a range of headaches that can be drilling and painful. The 20-20-20 rule involves looking away every 20 minutes at an object that’s about 20 feet away for a full 20 seconds. This allows your eyes to take a break and relax from the consistent blue light from your screens.
Don’t eat at your desk
While you can set up your desk to be ergonomically successful, moving throughout the day is one of the most effective methods to avoid soft tissues strains. As many of us eat at our desks, it’s important to stop this habit for both your physical and mental wellbeing. On your lunch break, aim to go outside to allow your body and muscles to move.
Take the stairs
Choosing to take the stairs at work is an easy, healthy habit swap that can help strengthen your muscles. While taking the stairs may not seem like a major change, moving your body throughout the day will significantly improve your muscular and cardio fitness.
Place both feet flat on the ground
Crossing your legs under your desk often plays a significant role in our posture at our desks. This often results in discomfort and pain in the hips, shoulders and back as the body is not correctly aligned. To ensure that your weight is distrusted evenly on both hips, place both feet flat on the ground and keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
If you’re feeling the effects of your desk job and continue to have pain and discomfort, talk to the Progressive Physio team. Our team can assess your pain and customise a plan for you to get you feeling your best.