Burlington, ONT – A common New Year’s resolution is to be healthy, which usually means exercising more and eating balanced meals. While diet and exercise may be the first resolutions we are tempted to tackle, it’s time to add healthful work habits onto the list of goals to be made in 2019.
“We all know we spend a lot of our time at work,” says Reed Hanoun, founder and CEO of MyAbilities. “What we may not realize is the impact work habits have on our physical bodies. Incorrectly placed or improperly sized equipment can cause injuries, which result in time off work and, depending on your insurance and benefits, could mean lost wages.”
MyAbilities works with employers, service providers and insurers to keep people safe and healthy in their workplace environment. Their technology uses the latest in ergonomic research to conduct reliable self assessments and provides self-guided training to make sustainable office ergonomic changes.
Many people who work in an office may not even realize they’re not working in an ergonomically friendly way. Here are some helpful tips to help prevent injuries in the workplace:
- Keep moving – Your office chair is adjustable for a reason – make the most of it! The best chairs allow you to make frequent adjustments, changing your posture throughout the day. This promotes healthy blood flow and reduces the effects of muscle fatigue.
- Don’t let your mobile office immobilize you – Do you work primarily on a laptop, tablet or a cell phone? These devices were not developed with your 40-hour work week in mind. If you’re always on your laptop, consider getting a full-sized keyboard, a monitor and mouse to plug in. This will let you adopt better postures while working. If you’re sending long emails on your phone, see if it can’t wait until you’re back home on your desktop. That’s the best way to avoid “texting neck”.
- Rest to de-stress – Sending many emails or having a long conference call about the latest budget can be stressful. When we get stressed, our muscles become tense, and we’re more likely to have back pain and other musculoskeletal discomfort. Take microbreaks throughout the day to work on your deep breathing, as well as stretch. Stretching before you get sore ensures you’ll be as productive at the end of the day as you were at the start.
While office workers are often the focus of ergonomic changes and issues, other industries face potential problems as well. Retail workers, coming off the busiest shopping season, must be aware of standing on hard and uncomfortable floors for long periods of time as well as repetitive movements at cash and lifting and putting away stock. Industrial workers face similar issues with repetitive movements.
“Making these small changes can have huge impact on your health,” says Hanoun. “Taking time to assess your work space and prioritize healthful ergonomic habits will allow you to start the new year right.”