Three Ways to Make Your Work Set-up Healthier

Image for post
Image for post

Consider your office set-up and work habits like investing. Each day that you work has an effect on your body and, like our financial situation, ignoring the body doesn’t make it any less real! You can make a few changes that will be a long-term investment in your health (and therefore your ability to be productive and earn that $).

  1. Raise Your Rump

Sitting with our legs and torso at 90° for long periods of time is normal nowadays, but physiologically unnatural. The reason that chairs use this 90° angle has everything to do with ease of stacking and cost of production, and very little to do with promoting healthy posture.

Instead of sitting, think perching. Get your hips higher than your knees (the angle between your torso and legs should be around 110–135°). This is easily done for around 50 bucks on Amazon with a buckwheat or firm cushion that you can drop right onto your seat. You don’t necessarily need to buy a new, expensive chair. The cushion solution is also portable. I dream of the day when people walk into a meeting with their favorite cushion in tow.

Here are three questions I recommend:

– If you’re around 6 foot or taller, you may want to try theSmile Cushionby Carolina Morning (choose the buckwheat version).

  • A somewhat more compact cushion, also made with buckwheat, is the Buckwheat Crescentcushion made by Samadhi Cushions.
  • A cushion that’s designed just for seats (unlike the two meditation cushions above) is this wedge-shaped cushionrecommended by a former student.

2) Use Your Skeleton

Too often, people misunderstand posture as being the result of incredible and constant exertion. Ask the next two-year-old you see with perfect posture how hard they are trying to sit up. Learning a few basic points about anatomy can help you rethink your posture and let your skeleton do the work. Here’s a short video and a four-point posture checklist.

3) You Need a Break

You need several breaks, actually. Getting up every 20 to 25 minutes for just a few minutes (i.e. walking to the water cooler and back) can help prevent repetitive strain injuries and also boost productivity and focus. A very easy, low-tech system is the Pomodoro Technique. This simple time management system also helps keep your body and mind stay fresh.

Pro tip: Drink lots of water. You’ll flush out the muscle waste and have to get up frequently!

Any questions? Drop me a line.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store