When you arrive at work or you sit down to start a project at the computer, do you feel enthused and energetic about it?
Sometimes, on those good days, we can really pour our energy into our work and we feel great about the task and when this happens our posture and our personality can really be “on” when we’re in the groove!
Then, either by the end of that day or the start of a not-so-good-day, we have the contrast to this situation. Getting work started or completed can be like pulling teeth, a long, drawn out process without any seemingly built-in positive aspect.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Just like when we’re sad or things don’t go our way, our posture and our personality can really be “off” when we’re not in the mood.
Common workplace occurrence
Certainly we’ve experienced this in the workplace, and as corporate health and wellness providers at Time Health Management, we’ve encountered this on more than one occasion. We are called in to do an ergonomic assessment in the morning and the reception from the employee on the right day can be excellent. On another day, and more likely by the end of the day, the same assessment can go a totally different way.
The good news is we have options!
If you drive, you know you have to set the rear view mirror to be able to properly see out the back window of the car. Sometimes when you get in the car, you have to adjust it. Why is that? Did you change height? Are you sitting differently? Ideally, that rear view mirror should be set to a good position with the driver being in his or her best, tall, driving posture.
If the driver gets in and it doesn’t seem like the mirror is in a good spot, he or she should adjust to that taller, more upright, and better position. The mirror can be a great reminder of that!
The same can be said of our ergonomic computer set-up. Every person addresses a computer station differently. With help, it can be customized to the individual for either seated and/or standing work. However, even in those cases, once the set-up is done it is still up to the individual to be aware of his or her work habits. Sometimes those habits depend on how good or bad our day is going, if it’s early in the day or late, and what our personality and energy is like that day.
More is not necessarily better!
For those night owls and those of us who find ourselves doing work based on the new ability to always be working thanks to technology, our attention to our posture can deteriorate over time. As we get more and more into what we’re doing and the longer we tend to do it hour after hour, day after day, our habits can degenerate to that of an injurious degree.
The secret to getting the most out of the time you spend working in these scenarios is taking a break, creating a pattern interrupt and recharging your focus. If you can step away from what you’re doing, it allows your body to move a bit, get the circulation flowing a bit, the air in and out of your lungs a bit, and your physiology a bit more engaged.
When you get up and move around, talk with someone, have a snack, etc. it interrupts the usual routine. This is healthy for your nervous system so it doesn’t get too hard wired into any one task. Furthermore, the combination of the two keeps your mind and body fresh.
After taking this break, and the more engaging that break is the better, you can return to your task with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Your focus can return to what needs to get done and it won’t drain your emotional and physical reserves.
You see, ergonomics is more than just setting up your equipment and then never moving it,
It is like that rear view mirror scenario while driving. This physical set up is just a reminder of what to do right. However, being human, it’s still up to you to get it done right.
The longer we work, the more we work, the more we want to get it done right. With a little forethought and investment in ourselves, we can be productive but also preserve our personality and identity in our work. This can make our workdays more fun, more engaging and more rewarding.
So sit tall, stand tall, and take on the working world every day!
Connect here With Expert David Koivuranta