Staying Healthy (& Happy) At Work



As we kick off 2019, there will be countless resolutions that will revolve around health and well-being. Whether people follow through on these promises is another matter, although maintaining a healthier lifestyle can be difficult. Unfortunately, things won’t be made any easier trying to balance a healthy lifestyle with your job, which is likely to interfere. Particularly for those who find themselves stuck at a desk all day when they return to work.

However, if your work space is confined to an office, there are steps you can take to ensure you look after your health and well-being while you are at work, rather than simply relying on diets and exercising outside of work hours.

Sitting for more than 6+ hours a day can make you 18% more likely to develop health problems like diabetes, heart disease and obesity compared to those who sit for less than 3 hours a day. These statistics underline the importance of staying active at work, and even working on something as simple as your stance and posture can help you massively.

Sitting

Whether you have a modern, aesthetic desk or an old-fashioned, traditional one, you can still take measures that help relieve pain points and make sitting less damaging on your body.

You should always position your screen to match your natural line of sight. If you have an adjustable chair, you should position it to allow your elbows and wrists to hover just above your desk at a natural height. Your chair should be comfortable too as it is an important part of maintaining a good posture and reducing the risk of joint pain.

As for your posture, try to hold your back in a position slightly in front of your hips so that your lower back muscles are engaged. You should also tuck in shoulders to prevent hunching or over extending your muscles and finally, make sure your feet rest comfortably on the ground.

Even something as small as your hand positions when typing can cause aches and pains. You should avoid bending your wrists and fraying your hands outwards or inwards as this can cause wrist, neck and should pain.

Instead, you should keep your arms, wrists and palms parallel to the floor. With your wrists hovering just above the keyboard, you should also keep your arms at a 90o angle from your elbow to your wrists and palm.

Standing

If you want to take things to what some may consider an extreme measure, and if your workplace will allow it/is suitable, you could turn to a standing desk. Although a fairly unusual, is it probably the best way to improve your health during office hours.

Users of adjustable standing desks report feeling 87% more energised, 66% more productive, 71% more focussed and 62% happier.

However, as with a sitting desk there are steps you should take with a standing desk to help relieve pain points. Again, you should position your screen to match your natural line of sight. Your keyboard should be below your elbow height or, at the very highest, level with your elbows.

Using an anti-fatigue mat would also be a good idea as they can help with hip, knee and ankle support as they relieve pressure and improve circulation.

Whichever you opt for, standing or sitting, remember to always be aware of your posture. Doing so will be beneficial for your health and well-being and it is a great yet simple way to achieve your 2019 resolutions.