Since the advent of personal computers and the Internet, everyone who works in an office environment has become increasingly more deskbound. To make matters worse, many people operate within the confines of a small office or cubicle with room for only a chair and a desk. As a result, soreness, stiffness and even injury in the workplace has been on the rise. The #1 injury, which results in billions of dollars of workers compensation claims every year, is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Uncomfortable work environments will have an impact on an employee's productivity
Research has proven that the more uncomfortable a worker feels, the less productive he or she is for the company. Although this is an obvious statement, some owners hold the opinion that any upgrades in comfort are an expense. If you work for someone like that, you should find the following cost-effective ways to prevent work-related soreness, stiffness and discomfort of great use to you.
Maintain good posture
Sitting behind a desk for long hours can lead to slouching or hunching over the keyboard. Should you find yourself doing this, it can lead to back, neck or head pains. In order to avoid these pains, sit up straight, make sure your feet touch the ground, relax your shoulders, and rest your arms comfortably. This last suggestion is especially important, since typing can seriously affect your wrists.
Stand while taking calls
If you spend a lot of time on the phone, you have the perfect opportunity to stand up and move around. From a health perspective, this simple action burns more calories than remaining seated or stationary. We also suggest getting a wireless headset to keep you from tilting your neck in order to cradle the phone.
Utilize floor space
Efficiency is not synonymous with laziness. Even though it may seem like an inconvenience, storing frequently used materials more than an arm's length away encourages you to bend and stretch your body more to obtain them. This is a perfect example of how a little exercise can prevent bigger pains further down the line.
Take the stairs
When the opportunity presents itself, take the stairs. If there are multiple floors in your office building, use the stairs as often as possible to get your blood flowing and stave off sluggishness.
Start a walking club during lunch
Getting away from your desk is a great way to relieve stress. We often tell people to take laps around the office building, and encourage other employees to join for some socialization. This type of activity is a great way to clear your mind and make the rest of your workday seem more enjoyable.
Change your routine
Doing the same thing each day is not only boring, but makes it difficult to stay focused. The best way to battle this is to change your routine. Try taking different routes when moving through the office, or relocate your waste bin every few days for tossing trash from your desk to improve hand-eye coordination. Always look for new ways to make each day a little different from the last.
Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
We suggest that you use an ergonomic keyboard as well as taking breaks from typing in order to keep your wrist in a more natural position. We also recommend doing some type of wrist stretches. Talk with your doctor about the proper preventive medicine, or go online and Google carpal tunnel exercises.
The work environment can be stressful. This stress can have a negative effect on not only your mental, but also your physical well-being. Change up your work life by getting yourself out of your chair more often. Before long, you and your colleagues will no doubt notice a vastly improved attitude.
Need help or want more information? Contact Cindy McSwain using the information below.
Senior Vice President
Cindy McSwain leads AGH’s outsourcing services group. Her team provides payroll, accounting, funds disbursement, controller, and other financial outsourcing services to numerous clients throughout the U.S. Prior to joining the outsourcing group, Cindy served AGH’s audit clients for 10 years, working with a wide range of middle-market, closely held and family-owned organizations.
Her current clients cross many industry sectors, including manufacturing and distribution, restaurants, retailers, medical and not-for-profit. She has participated in numerous SEC filings and public registrations and has experience in mergers and acquisitions. Cindy is a certified public accountant and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
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