The big dilemma facing today's desk jockey is that working from a seated position all day long is harmful. It hurts your spine, slows down your circulation, increases bad cholesterol and contributes to obesity, among a host of other possible side-effects. Top-of-the-line office furniture, however, may be too costly for the average budget. Here are three ways to spare your body without spending too much.
Invest In A Raised Work Table
Rather than sitting at a desk all day, alternate with a raised work station you stand at. While this may sound like setting yourself up for more pain and fatigue by the end of the day, you'll actually be doing your body and brain a huge favor.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time is unhealthy for you in a number of ways, from adding extra pounds to increasing your chances of developing colon cancer. Particularly if your posture isn't all that good, sitting will leave you with an aching back as well.
Consider, too, the fact that you spend, on average, eight hours sleeping. Add to that the number of hours you linger in front of a computer and television screen and you're probably in worse statistical shape than you originally thought.
Being sedentary most of the time puts your health at considerable risk. Therefore, devoting a few hours at the office to working from a standing position becomes more a necessity than an option. Arrange certain types of work at your raised table, for example, papers that don't require any computer research. Begin and end each day from the standing position, using the time to plan and prioritize.
While you're working toward being less sedentary, you'll also be boosting your brain power: moving around as you focus increases concentration and accuracy.
Your new workstation need not be anything expensive or elaborate. Simply find a sturdy table of the right height, so that your elbows can rest comfortably on the surface. If the arrangement leaves you with fewer body aches, consider moving your computer to the higher tabletop and doing the majority of your work from the standing position.
Reducing pain and improving concentration at work are both ways to improve your productivity, including lowering the number of days taken off due to your aching back. That means whatever funds you allocate towards the new office equipment is actually going to save or even make you more money.
Upgrade Your Ergonomics Economically
A brand new office chair, suited up with the latest and best in ergonomics and lumbar support, might cost so much money your blood pressure will go up every time you go to sit down in it. Multiply that expense times the number of people in any given office and you can easily understand why companies delay replacement for as long as possible.
Avoid the economic burden, without compromising your spine health, by devoting quality time to the shopping experience in a second-hand environment. With thousands of companies going in and out of business each year, the used office furniture sector is bustling with incredible finds.
Shop for your height, as body position is key to avoiding or possibly eliminating aches and pains at a work station. Look for something that promotes good posture, and lets you keep both feet flat on the floor comfortably. Avoiding crossing your legs is also in your body's best interests.
Consider sacrificing aesthetics for ergo-excellence, too. For example, a slight tear is easily forgivable if the best chair for your needs is suddenly affordable. So what if it's not color-coordinated with the rest of your workspace if your back is going to feel relief at the end of a long day.
Although you may have to devote a little extra time to finding your ideal second-hand chair, this effort will be a wise investment.
Trade The Filing Cabinet For A Bookshelf
Reaching down into desk and filing cabinet drawers is bad for your lower back, but considered a necessary evil of a functional office. Opt for bookshelves instead, where you can keep the items you use frequently in higher spaces, making the reach completely painless.
Decorate lower shelves, so the space if filled with things you really never need to bend down for. Although this may seem like a minor adjustment to your office environment, it will provide your spine with major a improvement.
While you may enjoy the perks of working tirelessly at a desk all day, your body pays for it. Put yourself in the best position to both succeed and excel, by optimizing your office environment with new office furniture. Just don't spend too much for it when there's really no reason to.