Keeping Healthy in the Office
Having an office job is bound to equal a lot of time sitting at a desk, and everyone knows that long periods of being sedentary aren't healthy. So what can you do to ensure that you're not putting unnecessary strain on your body at work?
Working with computers can be particularly bad for your posture and eyes - as well as your weight! A lot of people don't have their desk arranged properly and sit in their chairs without the correct posture, leading to hunched shoulders, cramped necks, aches and pain. Staring at a computer screen for hours on end can lead to degenerating eye problems, and sitting down for the vast majority of the day can easily lead to inadvertent weight gain. But you don't have to go to extreme measures to stay healthy and happy at work - Just a few adjustments can have a big impact!
- Keep your hips pushed as far back in your chair as they'll go.
- Make sure your feet rest flat on the floor.
- Your back needs to be well supported (reclining at 100-110 degrees is best, and pillows/cushions can be used).
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and back - no slouching.
- Have your keyboard directly in front of your body and keep it close.
- Keep your wrists straight in front of you (use the legs or a tray to adjust your keyboard if needed).
- Centre your screen directly in front of you, at a comfortable reading height (the top of the screen is often just above eye line).
- Reduce glare off your screen.
- Look away from your screen and focus on something in the distance often.
- Make a conscious effort to regularly blink (keep your eyes closed for a few seconds at a time if needed).
- Take a few minutes to stand up and do some light stretching every 20-30 minutes.
- Going for a brisk walk around the office is a good idea.
- Try to come up with excuses to get out of your chair - rather than emailing someone with a question, go visit them and ask in person instead.
Regular exercise (accompanied by a balanced diet) is a highly effective way to stretch out those muscles that don't get used during work hours, so make sure that you're moving about as much as possible during your leisure time.
Further information about how to keep your desk job without sacrificing your health can be found at Ergonomics Australia.
For a detailed insight into how to properly adjust your office chair, check out this amazing article by James Cannon over at Comfy Office Chair. The article helps ensure you're sitting as comfortably as possible and not putting your body through undue stress, and is a great resource for picking out the right office chair for you.