Stop poor posture impacting your bottom line
In the UK I’m pretty sure most of us shrug off aches and pains as something to be expected, but we were interested to see a report that Poland has recorded a shift in occupational diseases associated with working in smelting works and mines being replaced by those associated with office work – spinal diseases, varicose veins, allergies and psychological disorders caused by poor posture, stress and repetitive activity.
So that sounds a bit more serious. But it’s not just the possibility of occupational diseases we need to worry about. Reduced concentration, headaches, time off – whether it’s business owners or staff – all has a negative effect on productivity, profitability and the all-important bottom line.
Since leaning forward or slouching can cause neck and back ache, stiffness and cartilage compression, we thought we’d find out exactly how we should be sitting to avoid some of the health issues associated with slaving behind a desk for long periods of time, and to stop poor posture impacting your bottom line.
- Make sure your feet can rest flat on the floor or on a foot rest to avoid pulling your weight forward
- The depth of seat should allow your knees to bend while sitting back against the backrest to prevent your lower back from slumping
- Sit centrally to your computer screen and keyboard with your arms bent at 90 degrees to avoid unnecessary twisting or stretching (so you may need to adjust your chair or desk height to make this work)
- Wedging the phone between your ear and shoulder will lead to neck and shoulder issues. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, think about investing in a headset or earpiece unless you can go ‘hands free’ without annoying everyone around you!
- Take a minimum of five-minute breaks every hour – you might want to set an alarm to get you in the habit of doing this
Good posture helps you take in more oxygen which boosts productivity and improves concentration and focus, so there are real business benefits of getting your posture right.
To help reduce stress, you could trial aromatherapy, with lemon, jasmine and mint apparently having positive effects in reducing errors, improving concentration and reducing headaches and mental fatigue.
You could try background music to reduce stress and tension and increase creativity and productivity. But as anyone who has worked in an environment with music knows, it needs to be monitored as if it becomes overwhelming (in volume or content) music can become a frustrating and negative factor instead.
Colour and artwork can also play a part in creating an environment that promotes a positive and productive atmosphere. If you’d like some ideas on introducing some elements of colour, design or branding into your workspace, give us a call on 01420 568127 or send us an email and we’ll help you create a more productive workspace.