Fancy new desk chairs and state-of-the-art standing desks can improve the workplace, but you don’t need to break the bank with new equipment to see the benefit of ergonomics in your workday. Many of the most helpful ergonomic practices are habits you can add to your daily routine. This post on The 4 M’s by one of our Ergonomic Specialists, David Hodge, describes four tactics to maximize your productivity and minimize stress on your body.
Believe it or not, your body talks to you all the time. The more mindful you are of your body, the more you will respond in kind to what it is telling you. If you simply slow down and listen to your body throughout the day, the health benefits can be amazing. Always remember these two things: 1) there is more than one way to perform every task. 2) the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result—so if it hurts, STOP DOING IT!
Our bodies are energy, therefore we are designed to move. So stop with the sedentary postures already. Find a new position to work in every 20 minutes—your body will thank you. Get out of your chair and get some water—later on, it will create movement through a natural break. Walk the floor to help increase circulation. Move at a moderate pace to increase your heart rate and you’ll burn a few more calories (please be safe and don’t run over everyone…). Push your chair back, stand up, stretch, take a breath, and sit back down—your body will thank you again. Getting the idea yet? MOVE!
Don’t do any one thing for a prolonged period. Reduce contact pressures on the wrist by pulling your hands away from input devices when not in use—I call this “let go.” If you’re going to lean on your left arm, lean on the right as well. If you sit on your right foot, sit on your left as well. Try using a left mouse if your right is always feeling fatigued—if I can learn how, so can you! My special needs left hand just needed a little more encouragement. The best position to sit in is the next one—static is bad, moderation is good. The sooner you incorporate moderation into your daily tasks, the sooner you can begin to find your center and more balance in everyday life.
Simply stated, “micro-breaks” means taking moments (10-15 seconds) for yourself throughout day where you “let go” of work (or your tablet/phone), do a quick stretch and take slow deep breaths. Quite honestly, this few seconds can become priceless! Start with small goals (several times each day) and work your way up until you meet your end goal—micro-breaks 2-3 times per hour. OMG! How ever will I find the time? If you’re reading an email—LET GO! If you’re on the phone—LET GO! If a colleague stops by to visit—LET GO! If you’re thinking about what to do next—LET GO! WOW! Turns out you have more time in your day to find those “moments for yourself” than you thought. Oh, and by the way: your body will thank you again and again.
Post by David Hodge