Category Archives: Office

Tips and products for a more productive, ergonomic, and health workspace.

Workplace Ergonomics: How to Improve Your Posture at Work

Workplace Ergonomics: How to Improve Your Posture at Work

If you’re like countless people, your job requires you to be seated at a desk for extended periods of time. However, days spent primarily sedentary are putting people at risk of chronic pain, musculoskeletal disorders and injuries, all of which impact long-term health and productivity.

To prevent chronic health issues and enhance your wellbeing, it’s important to implement healthy workplace habits that improve your posture at work through ergonomic principles.

Desk Work and Back Pain

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal disorders and injuries (MSDs) accounted for 31% of workplace injuries in 2015. Despite office work being one of the safest jobs you can do, it’s also known today for its own host of health issues that are contributing to these workplace injury numbers.

“Sitting disease” is a term recently coined as new research suggests that sitting for long periods of time without adequate movement and spine alignment can lead to several long-term health conditions, including musculoskeletal disorders. Several studies have looked at office worker habits over the years and many have found strong correlations between sitting at a desk and chronic back pain.

Research has also found that regardless of how much you exercise, sitting can still put you at risk of disease and chronic pain. There are several reasons why desk work causes musculoskeletal symptoms, including:

  • Slouching occurs the longer you stay seated, keeping your spine misaligned
  • Poor workstation set-up causes neck straining if computer monitors aren’t at eye level
  • Bad habits like crossing your ankles and legs cause hip misalignment
  • Lack of movement restricts blood and nutrient flow to spinal discs
  • Continuous sitting increases wear and tear on your spinal discs

Even though desk work is strongly linked to chronic back and neck pain, there are ways to mitigate long-term damage and disease by adopting a few healthy posture habits.

Tips For Better Work Ergonomics

To prevent chronic neck and back pain and other health issues associated with desk work, it’s important to practice better work ergonomics. The term ergonomics generally refers to the practice of fitting your job to your body. This means tailoring not only your desk and computer equipment to your body, but your entire range of working habits as well.

Below are some good posture tips so that you can reduce pain and improve total body health.

1. Practice Neutral Posture

Relax The Back’s guiding principle is the neutral posture concept. Neutral posture is the spine’s natural alignment position—a posture that’s completely straight from head to toe. When the spine’s natural alignment is compromised such as from slouching, hunching or injury, it can cause spinal compression, nerve pinching and muscle tension.

A mostly neutral posture at work can be achieved even if you sit at a desk. Here are some tips on how to improve your posture while sitting:

Keep your computer monitor at eye level so your head doesn’t tilt

  • Pull your shoulders back and keep your back flat against the chair
  • Rest your feet flat on the ground—no crossing ankles or legs
  • Use a lumbar support tool to help keep your upper back straight and prevent slouching

Proper work ergonomics is built around the neutral posture concept, supporting it through healthier habits and the right wellness products. By adhering to a neutral posture as often as possible at work, you can greatly reduce your chance of injury and developing chronic pain.

2. Keep Note of Back and Neck Pain

In order to prevent spine problems, it’s important to bring awareness to your daily wellbeing. Monitor your ongoing symptoms such as stiffness, soreness and aching in your back, shoulders and neck. Make daily or regular notes as symptoms arise—it can help you determine any patterns in your habits and routines that may be contributing to your pain.

With enough tracking, you may start to notice that your pain is worse on certain days or at certain times of the day. You’ll also likely notice that your body feels different during work hours than it does after work or on weekend. With this information, you can start to adjust your posture at work and consciously prevent back pain.

3. Give Yourself Movement Breaks

One of the crucial reasons why desk work is tied to back pain and chronic disease is because it limits the amount of movement required for better health.

Research has found that regular movement breaks every 30 minutes greatly reduces the health risks posed by sitting. Other reports show that desk workers who have higher incidences of low back pain can counteract symptoms by taking regular breaks from sitting.

To reduce the health risks of sedentary work, it’s important to make time for scheduled breaks and perform good posture exercises throughout the day. Stretching overhead and opening up your chest and back can counteract slouching. A brisk walk around the room can help boost circulation and energy.

4. Set Reminders

It can be difficult to remember to take regular movement breaks, even with the best of intentions to do so. Becoming better at work ergonomics and taking breaks requires you to build a habit, which takes time. To support you as you cultivate healthy habits, you can use any number of reminder and timer tools available to alert you to take a movement break.

One method is to set a timer for 30 minutes of work. When the timer goes off, set another 5-minute timer for your movement break, and so on. Or you can make use of desktop apps like Stretchly, WorkRave or Big Stretch Reminder, all of which help you keep track of your work time so you can know when to take a break.

5. Use Ergonomic Supports

Maintaining a neutral posture while sitting at a desk can be tough. Years of poor posture habits make it hard to train yourself to remain in perfect alignment at all times. Thankfully, there are excellent support products available that encourage neutral posture and help build better ergonomic habits.

One of the most important products to promote proper sitting posture at your computer is the right office chair. Relax The Back offers a range of adjustable ergonomic office chairs, many with built-in headrests and lumbar support for better spine alignment. Other support products for work ergonomics include office footrests and workstation accessories like monitor arms and keyboard trays.

One desk option that’s growing in popularity is the “sit-stand” desk—an adjustable desk that switches from sitting to standing easily. One study found that giving workers a sit-stand desk reduced their sitting time by over an hour per day and decreased upper back and neck pain by 54% while improving mood states. Check out Relax The Back’s selection of adjustable standing desks.

6. Create an Ergonomic Workstation

To achieve total body wellness that you can feel at work and take home with you, it’s important to set up an ergonomic workstation. Using the above good posture tips and support products, you can make sure you have an adjustable workstation that’s designed to fit you.

An ergonomic workstation takes into consideration things like:

  • Encouraging full range of motion
  • Placing most used items within arm’s reach
  • Allowing adequate leg room and foot placement
  • Alleviating hunched posture

An ergonomic workstation should fit you and your unique body type. With so many ergonomic products for the workplace, you can build the perfect adjustable workstation that keeps you in a neutral position much of the day.

Neutral Posture at Work and Beyond

It’s undoubtedly important to practice good posture at work and use ergonomic products to support spine alignment. But it’s also important to take your good posture habits from the office to home to travel and anywhere else. Maintaining proper spine alignment in all aspects of life is essential to preventing long-term, debilitating conditions.

At Relax The Back, we believe that total body wellness is the key to living a longer, healthier life free of pain and disease. For more resources on wellness and preventive health, browse through our Comfort Zone blog today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/ten-tips-improving-posture-and-ergonomics
  2. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/osh2.nr0.htm
  3. https://www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/ergonomics/sitting-disease-its-impact-your-spine
  4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170911180004.htm
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003687016300515
  6. https://www.techworld.com/download/system-desktop-tools/stretchly-017-3331112/
  7. http://www.workrave.org/
  8. http://monkeymatt.com/bigstretch/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3477898/

Live Well, Give Well: The Gift Of A Better Work Life

Show your loved ones how much you care by helping them improve their work life with ergonomic office products.  Movement and proper support in the office leads to increased energy levels throughout the day, better productivity, greater flexibility, and reduced muscle tension and strain. Whether you wrap up a few ergonomic workstation accessories or update your loved ones desk setup with a Stand Up Desk, everyone on your list is sure to enjoy and benefit from these great products.

Give the gift of comfort and productivity with some of our favorite ergonomic office products:

  • Ultimate Executive Chair: Give ergonomic support and comfort all year long. Customize your loved one’s chair to match their personality for the perfect gift.
  • Desk Lamp: Help reduce eye fatigue, neck strain, and headaches with targeted illumination over work documents.
  • Humanscale QuickStand Adjustable Workstation: Give the gift of flexibility in the workplace. This adjustable workstation clamps to any fixed-height desk surface and allows for customized height so that friends and family can sit or stand comfortably while working.
  • Rocking Footrest: Keep feet moving for lasting relief. Improve circulation and properly align spine, to hip, to knee alignment to reduce strain.
  • Extended Reach Monitor Arm: Effortlessly adjust the monitor to the proper height for comfort all day long. Adjustable height helps to reduce upper back and neck strain.
  • AdaptDesk by Relax The Back: Freedom to move easily from sitting to standing, now that’s a gift that keeps on giving. This ergonomic standing desk rises and falls with the touch of a button to quickly transition position while working.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained associate who can help you find the perfect gift based on specific needs. We give our customers one-on-one support to ensure they are going home with the best product solutions for themselves or someone in their life. Visit us online at RelaxTheBack.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more holiday tips and gift guides.

5 Tips For A Healthy Workplace

Movement and support at the office is key to being happy and healthy at work. Think about the structure of our skeleton, our muscles, and our ligaments. Our bodies are made to move. By moving often, our muscles stay loose and warm, free of tension, our circulation is improved, and we simply feel better inside and out.

While incorporating movement into your daily work routine is important, the way your office supports you is also a factor to consider. Your office equipment should allow for flexibility and support where you need it most. From your neck and shoulders, down to your legs and feet, quality ergonomic office equipment promotes proper posture, comfort and wellness throughout the day while allowing the flexibility to easily move about.

Make comfort and productivity a priority in the office. Try these tips to help you incorporate movement into your day for a happier, healthier workspace.

  • Stretch often: Increase energy, relax muscle stiffness, and reduce stress with simple stretches that can be done right at your desk.
  • Take a break: Beat the afternoon slump with movement early and often. Making time to stretch and move is key. By taking breaks, you’re also allowing yourself to collect your thoughts and ideas for current or future projects as well as de-stressing and releasing tension.
  • Stay hydrated: Bring a large water bottle (16- to 20-oz) with you to work to fill up throughout the day. Work on finishing and refilling the bottle at least three times.
  • Set daily alarms: One way to remember to drink water and move around is to set alarms. Set them on your phone or computer to go off throughout the day as a quick reminder.
  • Invest in products that promote movement: Standing desks allow you to easily change positions throughout the day and promote energy and productivity. Rocking footrests help keep your legs active while you work, improving your circulation. Ergonomic office chairs with Core-Flex technology strengthen the spine while promoting constant, natural motion when seated.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists and try out our wide selection of our office products. Our experts will come to your home or office, complete an ergonomic assessment and help you find the product solution to ensure you’re working comfortably throughout your entire day. Follow us FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest for more tools to achieve ‘round the clock personalized comfort.

17 Desk Stretches That Provide Relief

Staying in one position for a prolonged period begins to take a toll on your body and your mind. When sitting or standing at the office, our muscles often become stiff and tight throughout the day. Taking the time to stretch while at work helps to relax tense muscles, in addition to being an effective strategy in boosting your health and happiness.

Set a calendar reminder for a 10-15 minute break to try the 17 stretches found in the infographic below. They can be done right at your desk! Incorporating stretches into your daily work regimen has many benefits including relaxing muscle stiffness in the shoulders, back, and neck, increasing range of motion and flexibility, and helping you feel more alert and energized.

While stretches are great for short-term relief, there are other measures you can take to relieve discomfort and increase your overall wellness. Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists. They will help you find useful solutions for the office or at home. Try our ergonomic workstation products that can help you find relief while working, ergonomic office chairs and back cushions that provide the support you need for productive workdays, or massage tools that can be used at work, at home, or on-the-go.

How Do You Work? Maximizing Relief At The Office

While your to-do list at the office can sometimes feel overwhelming, your workspace should not. Optimizing your workspace is essential to promoting comfort and wellness throughout the day. Sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to our health. This leads to back and neck pain, shoulder pain, an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, and even early death.

Using products that encourage movement will increase energy levels, productivity, and comfort. Frequent movement, including alternating between sitting and standing, improves circulation while relieving stress on your back and legs.

Make comfort and productivity your highest priority at the office. Here are ways to ensure you are working smarter with a space that suits your needs.

Standing

A sit-to-stand desk allows you to easily change positions with the touch of a button. Strike the perfect balance of sitting and standing to stay focused, energetic, and on your way to leading a healthier day. The top of your desk should reach your elbows when they are at a 90-degree angle.

Footrests often go overlooked when discussing standing desks however; this is an essential piece to having all day relief. A supportive footrest increases blood flow and circulation, prevents cramps and stiffness, and helps reduce back pain while standing by keeping your legs active and moving. A properly angled footrest also encourages proper spinal alignment.

Sitting

When sitting, it is incredibly important to have the right support. Ergonomic office chairs offer lasting comfort, better posture, and improved health. A well-designed chair can make the difference between leaving the office feeling at ease or in pain. Adjustable seat height, lumbar support, stability, and movability are key when choosing an office chair. Your office chair should have a high back to support the upper back, a slightly reclined backrest, and arm rests at a 90-degree angle.

Lumbar support should be placed slightly below the waist. Supplemental lumbar support in the way of a back cushion can be added to existing chairs to provide support where you need it most.

Footrests are also an important factor when seated. Rest your feet on a rocking footrest to keep motion in your lower body, blood flowing, and provide ergonomic relief for your upper back. When feet are not on a footrest, be sure they are resting flat on the floor to ensure proper ergonomic alignment.

If you are using a sitting desk, we encourage you to move around for 10 minutes every hour to help you feel more alert and energized, relax muscle stiffness, and increase range of motion and flexibility.

Ergonomic Cockpit

A pilot’s cockpit is designed so that the essential controls are within arm’s reach. This allows them to find what they need without unnecessary movement or strain. This same logic applies to your workstation. Equipment you use most often, such as your computer mouse and keyboard, should be the closest to you in your primary work area. This area allows your wrist and palms to maintain neutral posture. Learn more about ergonomic cockpits in this ergonomic cockpit guide.

You can reduce the risk of injury and pain at the office with proper ergonomics, where convenient levels, proper heights, and the best angels work together to achieve maximum comfort.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained specialist and try out our office products. They will come to your home or office, do an ergonomic assessment and help you find the product solution to ensure you’re working comfortably throughout your day. Follow our 24-hour approach to comfort and wellness on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more tools to achieve ‘round the clock personalized comfort.

5 Tips To Beat The Afternoon Slump

We’ve all been there. You’re having a very productive morning, checking off tasks on your to-do lists, you’re in the zone, when 2p.m. rolls around and you can barely keep your eyes open. Energy levels dip, it’s harder to concentrate; it’s the dreaded afternoon slump.

Our circadian rhythm may be the one to blame for those midday sluggish feelings. Our bodies “sleep signals” peak at night and in the afternoon around 2p.m., making us feel like we want to curl up for a quick nap in the middle of the day. Along with sleep cycles, there are a few factors that can contribute (and beat!) afternoon fatigue.

From the food we eat at lunch, to our stress levels, to our workout routines, check out a few reasons you may be losing energy in the middle of the day and ways to finish the day off energized and alert.

In addition to the helpful tips from Cleveland Clinic, your workstation setup plays a big role in how you feel throughout the day. Having a proper ergonomic workstation that allows for movement and flexibility will help you stay alert and productive while preventing any pain or discomfort. Take a look at these tips to setting up an ergonomic workstation and ways you can incorporate movement into your day.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained expert who can help you set up your workstation. They will guide you through numerous products that fit your work style to find the perfect match and provide you with information on staying healthy and productive at the office.

Afternoon Slump

How To Set Up Your Ergonomic Cockpit

Movement and proper support in the workplace is essential to having a productive, pain-free day. Our bodies were made to move however, many Americans are sitting roughly 8 hours a day. That adds up to 56 hours a week of staying in the same position.

When we do not have the proper setup that promotes ergonomic comfort and movement, arm, hand, and shoulder fatigue caused by over exertion can occur as well as stress on limbs due to awkward positions, and musculoskeletal disorders and injuries.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure your workspace is properly set up and adjusted to provide the most comfort and support throughout the day.

ergonomic cockpit

Setting up your ergonomic cockpit

An ergonomic workstation should minimize awkward postures and exertions, allow for proper placement of all necessary computer accessories, and provide proper clearance for your legs. Think of your desk as a cockpit, similar to an airplane or a car. All of your essential pieces of office equipment should be within arm’s reach to prevent unnecessary movement and strain.

Use these three key points as a guide for setting up an ergonomic cockpit:

  • Align the bottom of your monitor and the spacebar on the keyboard with the midline of the body.
  • Equipment you use most often, such as your computer mouse and keyboard, should be closest to you in the primary work area. This primary work area allows your wrists and palms to always maintain neutral posture.
  • Tools used less often should remain within arm’s reach however, these can be placed slightly farther away, just past the primary work area. It’s important to remember all tools should never be too far away as to cause exertion or strain when reaching for them.

Relax The Back has a number of product solutions that will help you setup your ergonomic cockpit.

  • Ergonomic office chairs improve your posture and make it easy for you to work by supporting your lumbar, back, and arms.
  • Adjustable standing desks relieve stress on your back and legs and help you avoid feelings of lethargy and fatigue.
  • Ergonomic footrests increase blood flow and circulation throughout your body to prevent discomfort or stiffness.

Our trained ergonomic experts can work with you to create the ultimate workstation. Visit your local Relax The Back location and with our help, we will find the products that work best for your current office situation and pain needs.

Sit, Stand, Move: Healthy Office Tips + The Importance of Movement

blog-movement

Think about the structure of our skeleton, our muscles, joints, and ligaments. Our bodies are made to move. Staying in one position for prolonged periods of time causes our muscles to tighten, circulation to slow, and increases the risk of serious health concerns.

Movement and support in the workspace is essential to preventing pain and discomfort. While incorporating movement into your work routine is important, how your workspace supports you is also a big factor to consider. Office equipment should allow for flexibility while also supporting your body where you need it most. This decreases the risk for injury and pain and increases energy levels and productivity throughout the day.

Practice these tips to incorporate movement into your day and be on your way to a happier, healthier workspace.

  • Perform simple stretches: Relax muscle stiffness, increase energy, and reduce stress with simple stretches that work your back, arms, and neck.
  • Take a break: While you may have felt like you were on a roll from 9am to 3pm, by the time the afternoon-slump comes around your body is paying for the lack of movement. Beat the 3 o’clock lull with movement early and often. Aim for 5-10 minutes away from your desk every hour. Your body and eyes will thank you.
  • Stay hydrated: Dawn Jackson’s, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, advice is to set goals. Bring a 16- to 20-oz bottle to fill up with water throughout the day. Work on finishing it before lunch, refill and finish again by 3pm, and finish one last full bottle by 6pm.
  • Set alarms: Need help remembering to get up and move around or the fill up that water bottle? Set alarms on your phone or computer for a quick reminder.
  • Invest in products that promote movement: Rocking footrests help keep your legs active while you work. Standing desks allow you to easily change positions throughout the day, improving circulation. Ergonomic office chairs with Core-Flex technology promotes constant, natural motion while seated while strengthening the spine.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more healthy office tips and product solutions. Visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with a trained specialists who can help you find comfort at work.

How To Be Happy & Healthy At Work

How To Be Happy & Healthy At Work

Staying healthy at work can be difficult at times. From workstation setup, to flexibility in the office, to relieving stress, there are many factors that can determine health and happiness at the office.

Whether you are using a sitting desk or a standing desk, staying in one position for extended periods of time can be detrimental to your overall health and productivity. Workers suffering from ergonomic-related injuries typically need more time off of the job to recover than other workplace illnesses or injuries. Poor ergonomics is costly to both the employee and the employer. Good posture and proper ergonomics can help reduce injuries and increase energy and productivity levels.

Making time to move around and stretch throughout the day is also important. By taking adequate breaks, you allow yourself to de-stress and release tension as well as collect your thoughts and ideas for current or future projects.

Take a look at the infographic below for more tips on relieving pain points in the office, ergonomic workstations, and other ways to be happy and healthy at work.

If you experience pain and discomfort during the workday, visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with a trained consultant who can help you try our numerous office products to create the ultimate ergonomic workstation.

How To Be Happy & Healthy At Work

Find Relief at Work With An In-Store Assessment

officeIf you suffer from daily discomfort and pain at the office, your workspace setup may be the culprit. A healthy workspace is the sum of many parts. With proper ergonomics, where the best angles, proper heights, and convenient levels work together to achieve maximum comfort, you can reduce the risk of pain and injury at the office.

At Relax The Back, ergonomics is the foundation of all of our back and neck pain solutions. Our trained experts can help you create the ultimate ergonomic office workstation.

When you visit a Relax The Back location, our consultants perform an in-store assessment of your workspace. This includes speaking with you about your current setup and what pain and discomfort you are feeling throughout the day. With this knowledge, they will show you products to address these concerns with the ability to try them out first hand. Whether it is trying a footrest while sitting or standing to align your body and reduce strain, sitting in an office chair that provides adequate lumbar support to reduce lower back pain, or viewing your computer screen using a monitor arm to decrease eye strain and neck pain, you will feel the difference after one visit.

Franchisee owner Bob Duncan, of our Birmingham, AL location, shared one experience he had with a customer who bought an office chair 20 years ago from a Relax The Back location in a different state. She needed her office chair repaired. Bob was able to determine the model of her chair with help from the manufacturer by sending pictures and obtaining the parts needed to get the chair working again at a minimal cost to the customer.

Our franchisee owners and trained staff know the investments our customers make when purchasing quality office products. From following up with a customer after a purchase to see how they are doing to working with manufacturers to repair items, they strive to find the best solution so, our customers can live the life they deserve – free of pain.

Here are some of our franchisee owner’s favorite products to help you have a pain-free workday:

  • Standing Desk: A height adjustable desk allows you to change your position through the day, improving circulation.
  • Footrest: A properly angled footrest encourages spine alignment and reduces strain and swelling.
  • Ergonomic Office Chair: Seat height, lumbar support, stability, and movability are key to chair comfort and productivity.
  • Desk Light: Lighting illuminates where you need it, eliminating eye fatigue.
  • Monitor Arm: Effortless adjustments increase desk space while decreasing eye strain.
  • Height Adjustable Stool: Ergonomically tilted forward to perfectly fit any sit-to-stand desk.

If you are experiencing pain during the workday, visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with a trained consultant who can help you try our numerous office products to create the ultimate ergonomic workstation.

 

Gift Guide: Our Top Ergonomic Products

 

ergonomic products

Wrap up relief this holiday season with a gift that keeps on giving – pain-free and productive days at the work! When it comes to overall health and wellness at the office, workstation setup plays a big role. We’ve put together a list of our favorite ergonomic product solutions to help your loved ones increase their energy and productivity, reduce pain and discomfort, and improve their health.

Give the gift of comfort with these ergonomic products:

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained specialist who can help you find the perfect gift based on specific needs. Also be sure to visit us online (www.relaxtheback.com) and on Facebook and Twitter.

Common Ergonomic Myths Debunked

 

At Relax The Back, ergonomics is the foundation of all of our back and neck pain solutions. From home, to office, to everyday life, ergonomics can maximize comfort, performance and productivity while preventing or reducing pain and injury. Some standard guidelines and generally accepted facts about ergonomics are actually myths. Below we debunk a few common ergonomic myths. ​ergonomic

Myth: One size fits all

Truth: Ergonomic products are made to fit the 5th – 95th percentile of consumers, however no two people are built the same, nor do they work within the same capacity. Everyone has different work habits, discomforts, and a different body type so it is important to find what works best for your individual needs.

Myth: Ergonomics is only focused on preventing injuries.

Truth: While 33% of work-related injuries are caused by poor workstation setup, ergonomics is not only about preventing and reducing injuries. Ergonomics is also about optimizing human performance. When a worker’s desk is properly set up, it reduces pressure on their joints and ligaments, increases alertness and productivity, as well as promoting good posture, to name a few benefits.

Myth: The proper chair will solve all of your ergonomic needs

Truth: A healthy ergonomic workstation is the sum of many parts. While an office chair will help with some pain and discomfort, it will not solve all of the problems associated poor workstation setup. Learn how you can set up a healthy ergonomic workstation with this helpful guide.

Myth: We’ve implemented ergonomics in the workspace once therefore we do not need to update our workstations

Truth: Ergonomics, just like technology, is always advancing. Products are continuing to evolve to keep up with our high-tech world. It is important to keep your products up-to-date and working properly. This will help to decrease injuries and discomfort.

We continue to learn and improve our knowledge of ergonomics, along with tools and equipment, which can be used to prevent and reduce injuries to help others live a pain-free and productive life. Read more information on ergonomics or visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists about a free workstation assessment.

 

Ways to Reduce Stress at the Office

 

Did you know 71% of American workers would consider their place of work a significant source of stress? Regardless of occupation, salary, or gender, stress can take a toll on not only our mental health, but our physical and emotional health as well.

Stress affects people in many different ways. Whether you’re having trouble concentrating, tension or migraine headaches, stomach aches and pains, fatigue, muscle tension, or heightened anger levels, it is important to recognize the signs of stress. Knowing what to look for helps us take control and manager our stress levels to keep the negative effects away.

The next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed before, during, or after work, remember these techniques to relieve stress:

Ways to Reduce Stress at the Office

Office Stretches: 12 Stretches To Do At Your Desk

Working at a desk all day can take a toll on your mind and on your body. Including stretching into your daily routine is just as important as maintaining regular exercise habits and a well-balanced diet. Stretching exercises not only help to relax tense muscles, but are an effective strategy to aid in the relief of stress .

While sitting or standing at the office, our muscles can become stiff and tight throughout the day. Taking a 10-15 minute break has many benefits including helping you feel more alert and energized, relaxing muscle stiffness in the back, shoulders, and neck, and increasing range of motion and flexibility, to name a few.

These 12 office stretches can be done right at your desk. Give them a try and see the other benefits of stretching in the infographic below. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter or stop by your local Relax The Back location to learn more helpful tips on having a pain-free and productive day.

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Negative Effects of Prolonged Sitting and Standing

“Sitting is the new smoking” is a phrase you may have heard in the last few years. Sitting for prolonged hours is harmful to your health but did you know prolonged standing is just as bad? Flexibility and movement is key to a healthier you and a healthier work environment.sitting-all-day-negative-effects

Negative Effects Contributed to Prolonged Sitting and Standing

  • Just 2 hours of sitting drops good cholesterol by 20%, reduces blood flow, and raises blood sugar.
  • Keeping our body in an upright posture for long periods of time puts strain on our veins and hinders proper circulation of blood as our hearts work harder to push blood upward.
  • Sitting leads to greater risk of disabilities as we age.
  • Considerable muscular effort is needed to stand, which can lead to muscle strain in the back and neck.
  • Joint compression can happen when sitting or standing as our bodies remain in the same position.
  • Upper and lower back pain, sore shoulders, and strained neck muscles.
  • Shortened lifespan.

Benefits of Movement During The Day:

  • Standing more has many of the same benefits of walking – burns extra calories, improves posture, increases blood flow and energy, and ramps up metabolism.
  • A recent study of 28 office workers who were given a Sit-to-Stand desk for one month reported a boost in energy, reduced fatigue, and better moods.
  • Muscles are activated by moving around, keeping the body in a fat-burning metabolic mode which helps improve blood sugar, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
  • Using adjustable standing desks, or a high-rise chair or stool, provides comfort and helps to prevent joint and back problems.

What You Can Do To Reverse The Negative Effects:

  • Take breaks throughout the day. Try spending 2-5 minutes, once an hour, performing simple office stretches or walking around.
  • If you are experiencing shoulder, neck, or upper back pain, it may be due to poor posture. Check your posture every 20-30 minutes. Over time, proper posture will become a habit.
  • Alternate between sitting and standing. As we said earlier, flexibility and movement is key!

Understanding Proper Posture

Take a moment to notice your current posture. Are you slouching or hunching over your keyboard? While at work, you may not realize you’re slipping into these poor postures. Creating a health, comfortable workspace doesn’t stop with ergonomic office products. Your posture also plays a role in your overall health.

Poor posture can lead to a number of health concerns including chronic neck and back pain, headaches, and muscle fatigue. Proper posture allows our bodies to be aligned in a neutral position, which is the body’s most natural position. Working towards maintaining this posture throughout the workday can help reduce strains and stress on your tendons, muscles, and spine.

Spot the signs of poor posture and ways you can work on it in the helpful infographic below. If you’re looking to create an ergonomic, spine-friendly workspace, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists and receive an in-person workstation assessment. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more ergonomic tips and pain-relief solutions.

Understanding Proper Posture

5 Tips for Back Pain Relief at the Office

5 Tips for Back Pain Relief at the Office

After the common cold, back pain is the second most common cause of missing work. Back pain, whether sharp, dull, or achy, can make it difficult to concentrate at the office. While many occupations can contribute to or worsen back pain, there are tips you can follow for back pain relief at the office.

There are a number of causes of back pain at the office. Poor posture, repetitive movements, and exerting too much force on your lower back are the most common causes of pain.

If you experience back pain at the office, find relief and prevent future pain with these five tips:

  • Stretch Daily: There are many benefits of daily stretching. Increase flexibility, relieve pain and tightness, and increase range of motion by incorporating stretches into your daily routine. Office stretches can offer relief right where you need it most.
  • Maintain Posture: Keep posture in mind while at the office. Maintaining posture helps prevent low back pain as well as improve muscle tone and circulation. Follow these tips for maintaining proper posture in different positions.
  • Move Often: Set timers or alarms as a reminder to move during the day. Staying in any position, sitting or standing, for prolonged periods of time can cause muscle stiffness and pain. Plan to move around for a few minutes, every hour.
  • Proper Ergonomics: Setting up an ergonomic workstation will help ensure you’re working the least compromising position. Lumbar support cushions, ergonomic office chairs, and standing desks provide proper ergonomic support at different price points.
  • Listen to your body: If there are days where you are feeling under the weather, take breaks when needed. If you’re sitting for long periods of time and you start to feel pain, stretch or stand up for a few minutes. Changing positions occasionally throughout the day can help you stay comfortable at the office.

High Tech Office Ergonomics

High Tech Office ErgonomicsWith 33% of work-related injuries being caused by poor workstation setup, it is no surprise that many offices are beginning to move away from traditional setups to workstations focused on providing proper ergonomic support.

Studies have shown we are sitting, on average, 56 hours a week. Regardless if you maintain an active lifestyle outside of work, you can still be susceptible to pains and discomfort from sitting for prolonged periods of time. Creating a comfortable, ergonomic workstation plays a big role in your physical health, stress, energy, and productivity levels.

High Tech Ergonomics

Today, ergonomic products are evolving to keep up with the high tech advances of society. Most recently, a former Apple engineer and his company, Stir Works, released the first ever height adaptive “smart” desk. The Stir Kinetic Desk was created to help users effortlessly move while they work throughout the day. When we’re spending half of our waking hours at work, it is important to invest in your health.

  • Learns: This desk senses your presence while working and keeps track of your daily movements. It begins to adapt to your specific needs the more you use it. By tracking your habits, it is able to customize moving from sitting to standing to benefit you best. Stir focuses on keeping you active, so you can focus on working.
  • Breathes: Known as the “whisper breath”, the Stir Kinetic gently rises and falls to remind you to move. This breath invites and reminds people to move throughout the day. This physical engagement is a gentle push in getting people to be more active at their desks.
  • Quantifies: While it tracks your daily movements and habits, the Stir Kinetic Desk shares information with you regarding how much you sit, stand while working and extra calories burned through it’s touchscreen pad.

While a high tech ergonomic desk can help make a difference in your health, a desk alone will not solve all of the problems associated with poor workstation setup. From your monitor arms, to your mouse and keyboard setup, to your desk light, the positions of your workstation equipment play a role in helping you stay comfortable and pain-free. Think of your desk as a cockpit, similar to your car or an airplane. All of your essential pieces of equipment should be within arm’s reach to prevent unnecessary movement and straining. Be sure to have enough space on your desk to move freely without forcing awkward postures or exertions.

 

Setting Up an Ergonomic Workstation

Setting Up an Ergonomic WorkstationIf you are one of the many Americans who suffer from daily pain and discomfort at the office, your workstation setup may be to blame. Fortunately, with proper ergonomics, you can reduce the risk of pain and discomfort and improve productivity while staying comfortable at the office.

Follow this guide to be on your way to a healthier workstation.

Monitor

Monitors should be arms distance away, at least 20 inches, and the center of your screen should reach eye level. Keeping the proper distance will help reduce eye fatigue and headaches. Monitor arms allow you to effortlessly adjust the position and height of your monitor to reduce strain in your upper back and neck. If working on a laptop, a laptop raiser is a quick and easy option to find comfort and ergonomic positioning.

Footrest

Reduce low back pressure, increase blood flow and circulation, and counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting with a footrest. When sitting or standing, maintaining movement in your legs with a footrest can help keep you comfortable throughout the day.

Task Light

When it comes to your light level, aim for brightness of a nice day without sunglasses on. Place lights over paper documents and away from your monitor to prevent glare. Light levels and placement play a role in reducing headaches, eye fatigue, and neck strain.

Keyboard

If using a keyboard tray, your keyboard should be slightly below the elbow. Be sure to keep the keyboard flat and your wrists in neutral position to avoid strain.

Ergonomic Office Chair

Your office chair should have a high back to support your upper back, a slightly reclined backrest, and arm rests at a 90-degree angle. Be sure to have your feet resting flat on the floor or on a footrest below your desk. Lumbar support should be placed slightly below the waist.

Standing Desk

Our bodies are not meant to stay seated or standing for prolonged periods of time. If possible, include an adjustable standing desk in your ergonomic workstation. The top of your desk should reach your elbows when they are in a 90-degree position. Transitioning from sitting to standing throughout the day can improve mental alertness, increase circulation, and relieve stress on your spine.

For more information, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit your local Relax The Back location to get an ergonomic office assessment from one of our trained neck-and-spine experts.

 

 

Workplace Eye Wellness Month

eyestrainMarch is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. If you work on a computer, or look at e-readers, tablets, and smart phones for prolonged periods of time, you may be one of the many individuals who experience eyestrain and vision problems throughout the day.

A new study is claiming that we are spending more time on our phones and laptops than we are spending sleeping. On average, people spend 8 hours 41 minutes on digital devices and 8 hours 21 minutes sleeping a day.

These prolonged periods of time spent looking at a screen can lead to serious eye problems. One in particular is known as Computer Vision Syndrome. CVS, or Digital Eye Strain, is a group of vision and eye-related problems that result from prolonged digital device use.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eyestrain
  • Neck and Shoulder pain

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent the onset of CVS and reduce eyestrain and discomfort.

  • 20/20 Rule: If you’re working at a computer, take a 20 second break every 20 minutes to shift your focus on something 20 feet away.
  • Don’t forget to blink: When looking at a screen, make a conscious effort to blink more. It’s common for people to blink less frequently while working on a computer, which leads to dry, red eyes. Blinking often keeps eyes moist.
  • Take breaks: Every hour take a break from your desk and your computer screen to move around. Not only does this help with energy levels and productivity, it helps rest your eyes from the glare of your monitor.
  • Proper ergonomics: Take into account the position of lighting and your monitor. Proper lighting placement and monitor height reduce eye fatigue and neck strain.
  • See a doctor: Stay up-to-date on your eye health and schedule regular eye exams with your doctor. Be sure to tell them if you use digital devices daily.

Visit your local Relax The Back location to receive an ergonomic workstation assessment to help keep eyestrain and fatigue to a minimum.