Many working professionals have struggled to maintain their health since the pandemic began. Desk job workers suffer from back pain due to long hours of sitting, whether they work from home or work from the office. Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to 'Global burden of disease' data, with low back pain being the single leading cause of disability in 160 countries. It's the number one cause of absenteeism at work. The mind and body function as one system. What you do influences how you feel, and vice versa. When you align your body, you automatically align your mind. Humans are born with complete mobility. We are born with a J-shaped spine, which is common in infants and is associated with less back pain. By adulthood, we have an S-shaped spine, which is associated with more back pain.
As stated by a well-known author and chiropractor, Scott Donkin, sitting for too long or in the wrong position causes enormous human pain and suffering. It makes no difference how healthy the rest of your body is if you don't have mobility and dexterity.
How can HRs and team leaders, ensure their physical
well-being, as well as of their coworkers?
1. Ergonomic furniture and devices arrangement
Using tables and chairs with the right height and angles is crucial to maintaining the right posture. Bad ergonomics will force you to maintain bad postures that can leave a long-term effect on your spine and neck. Check out the picture below to understand the right height and angle to set up your workstation.
You do not need expensive furniture to do this, you can easily transform your current workstation by adjusting your chair's height, using non-expensive accessories like a keyboard and mouse tray, laptop, or monitor stands that help you maintain the right posture.
2. Be aware of the posture
After smoking, sitting has become the new silent killer. Cigarettes do not kill; smoking does. Similarly, it is not the seat that kills, but how you sit in it. Even after setting up your workstation with the right heights and angles, if you do not maintain the right posture it can still be harmful.
Sit without slouching. Sit up straight, with your chest open and your shoulder blades relaxed. Always sit on the sit bone and not the tailbone. Keep your screens (monitor and smartphones) to your head level and not vice versa.
3. Stretch breaks
Encourage daily stretching for a few minutes per hour. This will provide significant relief from back and neck pain caused by prolonged computer usage. We seem to forget the benefits of stretching as we get older. Stretching relieves tension, improves flexibility, and mobility, and allows for better alignment. This can also help you be active throughout the day.
4. Regular deep breaths
A few minutes of deep breathing or meditation each day will boost your team's capacity to focus. Have you noticed that sitting slowly suffocates you? This is because when you sit in a slouched position, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles have less ability to expand the lungs.
This decreased expansion results in a significantly reduced lung capacity, allowing for less O2 intake. While you meditate, you have a well-positioned rib cage that improves breathing by delivering more oxygen to the brain and removing CO2 from the bloodstream, thereby improving mental agility and concentration.
5. Wellness Challenges
Starting a wellness challenge at the workplace as a means to incentivize and support healthy habits among your staff can make it easier for them to get back on track. For instance, providing them with a fitness watch that tracks the number of steps they take each day and rewarding the individual with the highest number. What's better than healthy competition?!
6. Posture correction workouts
If you are working a desk job then posture correction exercises are a must. This can help you heal from bad postures and align your neck and back to the right place when done regularly. These can also help you and your team get rid of those annoying back and neck aches. Get fitness or yoga trainers who can help your team with professional guidance on how to do these posture correction workouts.
Mindfuel360 provides a physical well-being workshop on "Managing a healthy lifestyle with a busy work life". This workshop will train you and your team to improve their holistic physical well-being including posture correction workouts, nutrition, sleep, and lifestyle. The best part is we provide you with actionable techniques that can help you lead a healthy lifestyle even with a hectic schedule. Book a 15-minute call with us now to know more!
Our body was not designed to sit in a chair; instead, it was designed to move. Our spine and overall health can be safeguarded by changing our daily habits. Let's move more and move often, not because we have to, but because we can.
Let's create an environment that promotes rest and healing. Take small breaks to refill your water bottles or simply breathe to replenish your energy. Sleep, nutrition, and health should be prioritized above all else!