As a follow-up to our first post of the month on office posture, here’s a list of products that will help keep your back straight, your shoulders relaxed, and create an overall sense of comfort while working at your desk.
First, an ergonomic office chair is key for healthy working. If this is not available to you, consider acquiring a backrest to place at your chair. This will provide support by easing some of the pressure of sitting in an uncomfortable office chair.
Another essential item to consider is one that provides support to your wrists. This could be achieved by using a keyboard or mouse-pad wrist rest. Be sure to use these so that your wrists remain as flat and supported as possible.
Finally, a monitor arm is an excellent tool for easily positioning and adjusting a computer screen. By placing the screen at a comfortable height and appropriate distance, you can avoid any neck strain from tilting your head.
In light of Correct Posture Month, the New York Times published an article, The Posture Guru of Silicon Valley, about instructor Esther Gokhale. She attempts to soothe the back pain of those hard-working Californians plagued with “Silicon Valley syndrome,” by “reintroducing her clients to… the ‘primal posture’.” Gokhale explains that this posture was “common among our ancestors before slouching became a way of life.”
From Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, to one of Google’s senior vice presidents, Susan Wojcicki, Gokhale has trained thousands of workers “chained to their technology… hunched over desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets.” Like these Silicon Valley executives and board or staff members, many office workers in the U.S. sit at desks all day, which “goes hand in hand with back, neck and shoulder discomfort.” (Any of this ringing uncomfortable bells?)
Gokhale offers an accessible, non-surgical approach to back pain treatment by reteaching students how to “sit, stand, sleep and walk” in an ”upright and relaxed” stance. See below for some of Gokhales tips for elongating and stacking the spine into a tall J-shape:
- Relax the front of the pelvis downward
- The belt line should slant forward
- The rear should angle back so “your behind is behind you, not under you”
- Hold the rib cage flush with the stomach
- Roll your shoulders up and gently bring them back and down
- Re-center your head over you spine
In honor of Correct Posture Month, we turned to Spine Health for some tips on comfortable work posture. If you spend hours of your workday in front of the computer (don’t we all), read on for ways to avoid the pain and strain that comes along with the job.
Spine Health contributors, John J. Triano, DC, PhD and Nancy C. Selby, BS, suggest the following to help avoid back or neck pain at the office:
- Adopt a user-friendly workstation by adjusting the position of your office chair, computer, and desk
- Modify your sitting posture. Many people sit towards the front of their chair and end up hunching forward to look at their screens. The better seated posture is to sit back in your office chair, utilizing the chair’s lumbar support to keep your head and neck erect.
- Take stretch breaks and walking breaks when sitting in an office chair for long periods.
In order to ensure your workstation is “user-friendly,” consider the following adjustments:
- Choose the right surface height (standing, sitting, or semi-seated) for your work. Ex: Architects and draftsman may want a higher surface for drawing, while traders and other people performing computer-entry work could be seated or standing (depending on the necessary job tools). Finally, work surface height depends on the physical height of the individual worker.
- Adjust your seat so your work surface is “elbow high.” Also consider the following: A fist should be able to pass easily behind the calf and in front of the seat edge to keep the back of the legs from being pressed too hard and the feet from swelling. Two fingers should slip easily under each thigh. If not, use a couple of telephone books or a footrest to raise the knees level with the hips. The backrest of the office chair should push the low back forward slightly. If these adjustments cannot be adequately made with the existing office chair, a different make or type of chair may be considered.
- Adjust the height of your computer screen. Once you have made adjustments to your chair, close your eyes and relax. Then, slowly reopen them. Where your gaze initially focuses should be the center-point of your screen. If necessary, use books or a stand to raise the height of your screen.
Happy posture fixing! Also, keep an eye out for our next post about specific products that can help with your office posture.
“Tired of sitting down all day?” This is the opening question posed in a recent Business Insider article, Here’s Why Standing At Your Desk Could Be a Better Way to Work, by Megan Reynolds. Citing studies that show “moving around improves circulation, posture and brain function,” Reynolds states “offices where employees sit down all day are inhibiting staff from working to their full potential.”
In order to counteract the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day, Reynolds offers the height-adjustable desk as an ideal solution “where people can sit or stand without leaving their workstation.” With Innovant’s adjustable FORm_office bench, the simple touch of a button raises and lowers the work surface, allowing users to work at any height.
“Although they are not mainstream yet, height-adjustable desks have become more popular across a broad range of industries over the last 12 months,” Reynolds states. This popularity stems from such factors as the health benefits and productivity-boosting effects of standing while you work.
Innovant is proud to support the fourteenth Annual Theatre Event “Motown” to benefit St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters. Join us Thursday, May 2 as we pledge our support to St. Francis and their efforts to alleviate the physical and emotional hunger of those in need. Through their comprehensive approach, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters not only provides services that directly eradicate hunger, but also directs its focus to the structural causes of hunger.
This September 11th will mark the 11th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City. A memorial service is being held at the memorial plaza, to commemorate the 3,000 men, women, and children that were killed on September 11th, as well as those killed in the 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center. The memorial will serve as a physical translation of New Yorkers reflecting on and remember the lives of those who were lost ten years ago. The names of those who died will be etched into bronze panels surrounding both the waterfalls pools in the center of the plaza.
The memorial plaza will feature two large squares pools here the Twin Towers once stood, with water constantly flowing in and out of them. The plaza surrounding the pools is positioned as being one of the most eco-friendly plazas ever constructed. Below the two pools, the 9/11 Museum will be opened to honor the victims of the attack, and celebrate the lives of those who risked their lives to save others that day. The museum will preserve and display the physical remains of the site of the twin towers, house important artifacts from the period of recovery and is the place that will tell the stories of those who experienced the events that day.
The Museum >