Healthy Habits for Working at HomeFebruary, 2021
If you work at a desk, you’ve probably heard the word “ergonomic.” This is the science of a workplace that fits your needs and aims to increase efficiency and productivity, while reducing discomfort. The angle of your computer monitor, your desk height or keyboard position may seem irrelevant but when you’re sitting at a desk 40 hours per week, your body notices.
An ergonomic workspace should:
- Encourage a full range of motion
- Make most-used objects easy to reach
- Allow for adequate leg room and foot placement
- Alleviate hunched posture
Practice Proper Posture
Poor posture can result in various bad side effects including back pain, poor circulation, headaches and constricted nerves. Here are some things to keep in mind to improve your posture at your desk:
- Position your monitor at eye level
- Pull your shoulders back
- Keep your back flat against the chair
- Rest your feet flat on the ground or use a footrest
- Don’t cross your ankles or legs
- Use a lumbar support tool to prevent slouching
- Place your keyboard so your arms are at a 90-degree angle when rested at your side
Stretch Your Legs
Most Canadians spend 65% of their waking hours sitting or being sedentary. Make it a goal to stretch before and after every meeting. If your schedule doesn’t include many meetings, set a timer or a reminder to get up every 30 minutes to stretch or to walk around to get your body moving. Even if it’s just to go to the washroom, fill your water glass or grab a snack! Before you sit back down, touch your toes or do a few jumping jacks to help with blood flow.
You’ve heard the saying “this meeting could have been an email” – now there are virtual meetings that could have been a phone call. Fresh air can decrease stress levels, boost creativity and help with concentration! If your meeting doesn’t require face-to-face interaction, suggest a walking meeting with your coworkers so you can both get some exercise and fresh air while talking through ideas for your project over the phone. If the weather is too chilly and you have one, walk it out on your treadmill.
Try including these tips in your work routine – and remember to eat nutritious meals and stay hydrated throughout the day!