This week, we’d like to take a hard look at the top 3 resolutions that should be on your list but aren’t.
Before we dig in, we’ll give you a quick hint as to what they all relate to: it rhymes with the word “boffice”. That’s right: we noticed that the majority of resolutions have to do with one thing: health. And yet most of our go-to health resolutions have to do with what happens on our own time. They’re what get us running, eating well, headed to the gym, and so forth.
But while we’re in no way knocking those admirable and very must-have habits, leaving out health in the office means missing a significant portion of the greater picture. After all, we spend 8 to 12 hours in the office every work day — that’s almost half of our lives, depending on how hard your company works you. So why is it that we’re obsessed with our daily workout routines but don’t pay the slightest attention to office health habits? Taking the time to better the way you work will have enormous benefits for your health, the way you work, the trajectory of your career, and even the way you interact with our family and friends in your off-time. Here’s our ranking of the very best office health habits to have, and an explanation of why we’ve deemed them so.
1. Standing While You Work
You can lift weights and P90X all day, but you’re sure to undo the strides you make during your intense workout routine when you sit in your office for hours on end. Countless studies have shown sitting to be one of the greatest health dangers we face today, increasing obesity rates as well as the risk for developing countless diseases that are common in developed countries, such as diabetes, heart diseases, and in some cases, even cancer. And of course, if you’re not sitting in an ergonomic chair and are instead hunched over a desk all day, you’re also sure to develop painful musculoskeletal disorders of the neck and back.
There is, however, an easy fix: standing while you work. Doing so is easy with an adjustable desk, which enables you to switch between sitting and standing with the flick of a button. The more you can stand, the better your muscles will feel, and the better your overall health outcomes will be, as you’ll burn more calories and keep your blood flowing throughout the day. Of course, as with any major changes, it’s important to work up to full standing, which is where the adjustable standing desk — rather than a static one — is key.
As a doable first standing desk resolution, start small by resolving to stand just ten minutes at a time once an hour. In your second week, make it fifteen minutes. Work your way up from there.
2. Typing on an Ergonomic Keyboard
The term Repetitive Strain Injury (RSIs) sounds like something that should only matter to ergonomists and risk managers, but check this out. According to the NIH, carpal tunnel is one of the most common RSIs around — and it just so happens that typing for hours each day on a flat, straight keyboards is one of the best ways to develop it. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which swelling in the carpal tunnel pushing down on the nerves in your wrist, causing tingling, numbness, and pain. It can significantly derail your ability to work, distract you so that you’re not doing your best work, necessitate costly surgery, and cause you to miss many days of work — none of which is great for your health, sense of well-being, or performance on the job.
A Goldtouch ergonomic split keyboard is a great way to change that. Our keyboards pull apart in the middle and tent, so you can find a neutral angle for typing, putting next to no pressure and strain on your wrists. Pair this with an ergonomic mouse (mice are another big RSI-culprit) and you’re sure to mitigate any symptoms you have right now and prevent any new ones from developing. That’s a great investment in your health both inside and outside of the office — and in the health of your career, too.
3. Raising Your Monitor to the Right Level
If you’re like many of today’s workers, you enjoy working on a laptop or tablet that you can take with you to the coffee shop, on the road, or to your home. But while mobile devices like this are great for convenience, the anchored keyboard and monitor are sure to undo all of that good that your exercise and weightlifting routines have done for your musculoskeletal system. The reason: there’s no way to place both your keyboard and your attached screen at the right heights at the same time. Most likely, you’ll opt for the keyboard, meaning you’ll have to hunch to look at your screen. This in turn can cause eye strain and of course can throw your neck for a loop.
A laptop and tablet stand is an easy fix for this. Just place your laptop or tablet into the stand, adjust the height until your neck reaches a neutral position, place it an arm’s length away from you, and voila! You’ll do more for your neck than you could ever do at the gym or studio.
New Year’s resolutions that seek to improve your health are great in theory. They’re motivating, and they’ve sure got all of the right intentions. But it’s time to start making health resolutions that actually address the most pressing health issues we encounter for the bulk of our days. Yes, outside workout and diet regimes are key, but we can’t keep ignoring our poor health choices in the place that we spent the majority of our waking hours.
Resolving to look after our health in the office this year? Why, that’s the healthiest thing we can do.