By Clare Kumar
The equipment you use in your office goes a long way in setting up your chances for working in a healthy way. In addition to these, you will want to establish some best practices to ensure you are doing everything necessary to take care of yourself while at work.
1. Take Regular Breaks
You know the old saying “Moderation in all things”? Well, that is also true of work. Even if you’re sitting in an ergonomically correct chair with the computer and keyboard at the correct height, if you sit there for several hours straight, your body will not be happy.
For every hour of work, budget a 5-minute physical break. Get up out of your chair and move around. Walk to a window and enjoy some long distance viewing. Your eyes will appreciate the ability to focus at a longer distance.
Place your printer further away from your desk or set an alarm on your computer to remind you to take breaks. Schedule a regular walk around the block with a colleague. It will help refresh your eyes, mind, and body and bring fresh energy to your tasks.
Stretching can counter the effects of long periods in the same posture by reducing soreness, tension, and fatigue. Keep in mind that stretching should never cause pain. For maximum relief, stretch 2 or 3 times during the day. If you have health concerns, consult your healthcare professional before beginning a stretching program.
Here are just a few of the stretches you might consider. For diagrams and more stretches with detailed descriptions, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety page on Stretching – At the Workstation.
* Shrug shoulders and hold for 10-15 seconds then release.
* Roll shoulders several times in one direction and then the other.
* Keeping your back straight, look down slowly and back to neutral position. Repeat several times.
* Look slowly from side-to-side. Never rotate from one side to the other while looking up.
* Bring the right ear to the right shoulder, and then repeat on the left side.
* Link fingers together and lift arms overhead with palms facing the ceiling. Lean slowly to the left and back to the centre, then lean to the right and back to the centre.
* Upper back – Link fingers together, facepalms out and extend in front of you. Slowly round your back.
* Lower back – Keep your hips facing forward and gently twist your upper body to one side. Repeat to the other side.
3. Change position
Varying tasks throughout the day will help reduce muscle fatigue. Shift between writing, using the computer and talking on the phone for example.
Coming up next in the series: Space Management: Inspiration
Disclaimer – For information and reference purposes only and not intended as legal or professional advice. The adoption of the practices described may not meet the needs, requirements or obligations of individual workplaces.
ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.