Why Slouching Isn’t The Only Bad Posture?
Slumping forward while sitting or lying down is not only uncomfortable but it may cause back pain and other health problems. People often think that they are just lazy and don’t want to get up from their chairs, however there are many reasons why people do this. Here are some of them:
They don’t have enough energy to stand up straight. They feel sleepy after standing all day long. They’re bored with their job and want to take a break from it.
They’re tired because they’ve been working hard all day long and need sleep. They’re too busy to move around.
If you are one of these people then you might be suffering from slouching posture. If so, here’s what you can do about it:
1) Get Up From Your Chair!
The first thing that needs to happen is that you need to get up from your chair. You won’t be able to sit down again if you aren’t upright. Try moving around a bit and see which way works best for you.
You can either walk around, but just standing up isn’t enough, you need to move your legs and even stretch them as well.
You will start to feel sleepy again after a while, but this is normal because your body has gotten used to doing this in order to save energy and it has stopped producing the hormones that make you alert. Be sure to stand up at least once per hour though.
2) Try Different Seating Arrangements
The location of where you work also affects your body’s need for sleep. For example, if you work in a noisy environment then it is going to be more difficult to fall asleep than if you worked somewhere quiet like a library.
It’s not just the noise either, but the lighting and temperature are factors too. For example, if you work somewhere that is brightly lit then your body won’t feel sleepy and if you work in a freezing cold room then your body will also keep you awake.
Experiment with different arrangements to see what works best for you.
3) Add Some Colored Lights To Your Workspace
Colored lights are proven to have different effects on the brain and how it functions. You can either buy some colored lights from the store or you can simply download an app to your phone.
If you work in front of a computer, then try downloading f.lux to your computer. f.lux changes the color of your screen to match the time of day.
If it’s daytime then it’ll give off a brighter color and if it’s night time then it’ll give off a darker color.
This will help your body get the right amount of rest and energy that it needs to work all day long.
4) Get Some Massages
This doesn’t have to be some sort of elaborate process, in fact, all you need to do is give yourself a back massage right at your desk. You can do this by using circular motions with your hands.
This may seem sort of silly, but back massages are proven to increase alertness. Just do this every so often and you’ll be more focused on your work.
Now you don’t have to stand up for this, just make sure not to fall asleep while doing it!
5) Exercise For A Few Minutes Every Now And Then
We’ve already talked about the benefits of exercise which is to keep your body alert while working.
However, what happens if you start feeling sleepy while working out?
You become really tired or even pass out!
While this is certainly possible, you can take precautions to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
First of all, only choose an exercise like jogging, running, or cycling that you can do at your desk. You don’t want to choose something like weight lifting that requires you to be in an entirely different location.
Next, make sure to do it infrequently at first and only increase your exercise as your body is able to handle it. This will prevent you from becoming excessively tired or even getting sick.
6) Take A Power Nap
There are times when you may start to feel very tired and unable to work. This can usually be fixed by taking a power nap for just twenty minutes or so. Just put on your noise cancelling headphones, turn out the lights, and lay down your chair.
Remember to set an alarm so you don’t go to sleep for too long!
The 20-20-20 rule is also a good idea. After every twenty minutes of working, take at least 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away. This can be anything from a picture on the wall to the window outside.
This is meant to help prevent eye strain, but it can also give your vision a quick break which may be all you need to feel recharged and ready to work again.
7) Create An Ideal Environment For Yourself
There are countless little things you can do to feel more comfortable at your workspace. You may want to try:
Eliminating all sources of glare from your monitor.
Get a separate monitor just for your texting or messaging program (This can prevent you from being distracted by incoming messages).
Try using a dry erase board to keep track of important notes or to-do lists.
Get a separate keyboard and mouse if you like (this will help keep your desk less cluttered while still allowing you to use any shortcuts or macros that are important to you).
These small things may not seem like much, but they can all add up to make your work experience much more pleasant. You’ll be able to focus more on the task at hand without all of the little distractions.
8) Eat Light And Healthy
When you work at a desk all day, it’s easy to start grabbing whatever is convenient or whatever happens to be nearby. This usually results in you snacking on things that are full of sugars and fats and not very good for you. Even if you have the best of intentions, office snacks are rarely good for you.
Try to always have healthy snacks around instead. This can include things like fruit (Always great to have some sort of fruit around), baked crackers, or maybe even a small container of plain yogurt. These types of snacks will help keep your energy levels up without adding all of that fat and sugars to your diet.
If you can, try to make a habit of having lunch with a friend at your office. Not only is this good for socializing, but you’ll be less likely to order that large cheeseburger and fries or go out for fast food. Instead, maybe you’ll opt for something like a salad or sandwich.
If you do go out for lunch with a friend, try to either walk to the restaurant or at least park your car far away and get some extra walking in. Even just driving across the street to another parking lot and walking back is better than nothing.
Working at an office job doesn’t mean that you have to gain weight and become inactive. You just need to make sure that you keep yourself on the right track.
9) Keep Your Desk Clean And Organized
Your desk is probably one of the most important things in your office, which means that you need to keep it clean and organized at all times.
A cluttered desk can be a distraction, so you want to make sure that everything has it’s proper place. Not only will this keep you more organized, but it will also impress your boss if he ever drops by for an unexpected visit.
Having a messy desk can also make you less productive. For example, if you have a cluttered documents folder and need to find a specific contract then there is a good chance you’ll miss it entirely or not even look hard enough because your eyes will just glace over it since it’s buried under other papers.
This is why you want to keep your desk organized and clean. You want to be able to quickly and efficiently look through your folders and papers without having to move or read through a stack first.
Having an unorganized desk can also make you less productive if, for example, you misplace important documents because you were working on two different spreadsheets at the same time and accidentally put one folder inside of another. Or maybe you filed something under the wrong letter. These types of things can be very time-consuming and frustrating to deal with if they aren’t kept in order.
Take the time to properly organize your desk and everything on it on a weekly basis so that you can avoid these potential problems.
10) Use The To Do List And Calendar Functions On Your Cellphone
There’s an app for just about everything nowadays, including loads of different calendars and to do list apps.
While you might be tempted to just use a regular old notepad to keep track of your schedule and what needs to be done, this isn’t the most efficient way of doing things.
First of all, if you use a paper notepad to keep track of your schedule then you’re going to have to transfer all of that information into a calendar app on your phone later on anyway, which is just a waste of time.
Using a regular notepad to keep track of things is also going to result in you potentially misplacing it somewhere since you won’t have anything tying you to whatever location you end up in. If you put all of your information into a cellphone calendar and to do list app then that information will always be accessible as long as you have your cell phone on you.
This way you’ll always know exactly what your scheduled events are and what you need to get done for the day, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything or double-booking yourself.
Obviously not everyone has a smartphone, but most people do nowadays, so chances are the people you work with do as well. If not, then chances are someone in management does, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask if you can have access to their calendars and to do list apps on a company-wide level since this is something that can help everyone.
By being the only person to have access to this information, you will stand out and look like someone who is an efficient organizer and gets things done, which is always a good trait to have if you want to move up in the company.
9) Turn “Problems” Into “Opportunities”
Sometimes you’re going to have days where things just aren’t going right. Maybe a large shipment of products are defective, maybe someone in management is coming down on your department, maybe a co-worker is out sick and it’s your responsibility to fill in for them…the possibilities are endless.
Whatever the reason, you’re going to encounter days where the situation you’re dealing with is less than desirable. The way you handle these types of situations is very important because they can be potential red flags to your superiors if not handled properly.
The first thing you want to do when you encounter one of these “problems” is identify what the root of the problem is.
Is it something that can be fixed easily, or is it a serious problem that’s going to cause a lot of issues in the future if not addressed?
If you find that it’s something minor that can be easily solved such as a small typo on a sign, then all you need to do is quickly fix the mistake and move on. No harm, no foul.
However if you encounter something a little more serious like the shipment of products being defective, then you’re going to want to address the root of the problem first before moving on to step two, which is informing your superiors of what’s going on.
The mistake that a lot of people make is rushing to immediately inform their superiors of the situation without first addressing the problem itself. This can result in something like the shipment of defective products causing unnecessary delays and resulting in lost revenue, which is never good for business.
Instead of immediately jumping the gun and panicking, take a step back and assess how bad the problem is. If it’s something that isn’t worth bothering your superiors about, then fix it yourself and move on. However, if it’s something that you think they need to know about, then by all means tell them, but do it once you’ve addressed the problem itself.
You don’t want to look like you’re just calling from drama.
With this advice in mind, you’ll be able to handle whatever situation comes your way like a professional!
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Sources & references used in this article:
Good Posture and School Achievement by KR Doane – The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational …, 1957 – Taylor & Francis
Who’s Built Best to Ride by R Cohen, JM Campos, C Salaun – Preoperative calcitonin levels are predictive of …, 2000
Straight talk on posture by D Bennett – 1989 – equinestudies.org
Bodily posture as an indicator of fitness by LC Pacelli – The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 1991 – Taylor & Francis
The effects of a token economy employing instructional consequences for a third-grade student with learning disabilities: A data-based case study by TK Cureton Jr – Research Quarterly. American …, 1941 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com
Caution! Library Work Can Be Hazardous to Health! by OHW Join, N Cures, R Sawyer
Posture: An introduction. by R Sawyer