Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Healthy In The Workplace: Signs You Need A More Ergonomic Office

It's hard to believe that a few simple work habits can have such a huge effect on our health, but they definitely do. Even something as simple as sitting, standing, slouching, or typing can have terrible health repercussions when done improperly. That's why, today, we're bringing you all the information you need to watch for potential health problems. Here's some warning signs that you need a few nifty ergonomic office products to improve health and habit structure in the office!

Ergonomic Office Chairs

High functioning ergonomic chairs are the poster-children for ergonomic design. Often backed by years of scientific study, they are almost always equipped with healthful features such as seat sliders, tilt tension, headrests, height adjustments, and adjustable lumbar support to improve health. By encouraging proper posture, many ergonomic chair features can reduce or eliminate office-related pain over time. Doctors often suggest acquiring healthful ergonomic chairs with specific features proven to reduce targeted pains. In fact, many users find their back, neck, muscle, and even leg pains are relieved after continued use with the proper ergonomic chair. 

* Some warning signs you need an ergonomic chair are: poor posture, worsened back pain, pain that starts in the neck and moves into upper back, pain that goes away after switching positions, and pain experienced with a new car, chair, or job. 

Ergonomic Standing Office Desks

Falling asleep on the job? Then it's possible sitting all day is the wrong habit for you. Contrary to popular belief, sitting is not the new smoking. However, it can become very unhealthful if you're on your keister all day. Unfortunately, sitting (without the right chair) can promote slouching and other unhealthy habits that lead to office-related pain. To battle this, some individuals have found height adjustable standing desks are the answer! In addition to improving focus, ergonomic standing desks also help to keep users awake. With the back straightened out, back pain is often reduced, muscles are tones, legs are strengthened, and yes, even fat is burned! 

A warning though: Like sitting, standing is not meant to be done all day. Just as many individuals experience reduced pain, some also experience increased pain. This usually comes from the idea that in order to stay healthy, a person must stand for hours. Not true. Standing desks are meant to be used with cushioned foot pads and sitting breaks interspersed throughout the day. We suggest shopping height adjustable standing desks that can be lowered when it's time to give those feet a break.

* Some warning signs you need a standing desk are: Increased back pain with chairs, decreased muscle tone, poor focus, drowsiness while sitting in a chair, and poor digestive health. 
** Warning signs you should get rid of or upgrade your standing desk are: Increased pain in legs, knees, and feet, increased lower back pain, and if the desk does not lower for sitting breaks. 

Ergonomic Monitor Arm

The great thing about ergonomic monitor arms is that just about everyone could use one! All too often, folks that spend all day on computers experience pain they don't realize is caused by their computer's placement. Doctors and ergonomists recommend that the top of a computer screen be at eye level, with the screen itself being at least one-and-a-half to two feet away from the face. If you are an office worker that experiences terrible neck pain caused by a misplaced computer screen, shop ergonomic monitor arms stat! These nifty devices can be mounted either to a desk or wall and are capable of extreme movement. With the ability to retract, reach out, tilt up and down, and move all around, every user can move their monitor into the healthiest position for them. Secret bonus: You also get more desk space!

* Warning signs you need an ergonomic monitor arm: Increased neck pain, upper back pain, uneven muscle pain in upper back, lopsided shoulder pain, headaches caused by computer work, and slouching or swiveling to see computer screen. 

Office Task Lights

Working in a dark office? Then let there be light! This solution may seem like a fairly simple one, however, many individuals do not understand the role that too much or too little light plays on vision. In the workplace, what with window blinds, bright computer screens, and fluorescent ceiling lights, it's very easy to tire the eyes one way or the other. Human ocular faculties were only made to take in so much light, so try to find a balance. For those in bright offices who work on computers all day, desk lights are not the solution. In fact, we advise you to reduce your computer brightness, close the blinds, and do what you can to reduce the light input your eyes take in so as to not overload them. However, for those that spend all day writing, reading, or working on small physical tasks, affordable office lighting is a good idea!

* Warning signs you need to increase office lighting: Poor vision from dim working environments, depression, tiredness at work

* Warning signs you need to reduce office lighting: Poor vision from bright working environments, headaches, computer related eye strain.

Adjustable Keyboard Trays

Whether you spend your days gaming, drawing, or typing up business proposals, you're probably familiar with hand and wrist pain. However, as simple as this pain may sound, it can actually be the root of several health problems. Joint pain, arthritis, and even carpal tunnel syndrome (in extreme cases) are sometimes the result of unhealthy work habits from improper typing. Don't worry, we're not going to recommend typing classes - however, we do recommend keyboard trays! In most cases, reaching up on top of a desk to type is what causes hand and wrist pain. The position forces blood to struggle against gravity to keep joints from feeling the burn. In this case, many ergonomists recommend adjustable keyboard trays to mount under a desk. This way, the keyboard stays at arm-level, allowing users to type comfortably without discouraging blood flow.

* Warning signs you need an ergonomic keyboard tray: Pain in arms, joints, wrists, or hands from reaching upward to type.

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