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Ergonomic Tips to Remember in 2023

12 May 2023

New year, new you, new work habits! You've probably had enough of the back pain and fatigue that was building up over the year, and are at least a little bit upset about having to come back to work after the holidays. But you don't have to be.

If your main gripes with the workplace are all your bodily aches and pains, it's likely a problem with the way you're working, rather than your workplace itself.

Here are some ergonomic tips to remember in 2023 so that your muscles and joints aren't complaining by the end of the year.

Ergonomic Tips for the Workplace


Posture, Posture, Posture

There is no way to emphasize exactly how important it is for you to maintain a good posture at work. Yes, it's a lot easier to just slouch over, but that's also an excellent way for you to ramp up your healthcare costs. All those aches and pains don't come out of nowhere!

Your posture is what determines whether your body is kept in a good and natural position or not. If your body is held in awkward positions for longer than necessary, you are just putting unnecessary strain on your muscles and weakening them. Over time, you might even find that your body is starting to change its "default" position to an unnatural one. We see this all the time in the form of a text neck where your neck protrudes outwards, or rounded shoulders where they are bent forward.

Not only do these look a bit awkward as they are, but they also make it more difficult for you to maintain good posture. If you've already got some of these problems, don't sit back and think it can't get worse! Make the effort and fix your posture. It can be a bit difficult, especially since your body isn't used to it, but over time, it'll find its way into your muscle memory.

One way you can do this is through ergonomic furniture, like a good chair that provides lumbar support to keep your back straight, or a headrest to keep you from slouching. Flexispot's Ergonomic Chair Pro is one example of a good chair you can use.



Diversity

Yes, workplace diversity usually refers to diversity in the kind of people you have around you, but right now we're talking about diversity in the kind of tasks you’re doing. Are you sitting at your desk all day? Get up and start moving about! Are you typing for hours on end? Switch to some paperwork midway!

Repetitive tasks are actually the number one cause of problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, both of which fall under the category of repetitive stress injuries (yes, it's a very creative name).

Not only are RSIs painful to deal with, but they also take a long time to heal properly and you might even find yourself unable to do basic tasks like holding a cup or moving your arm for a while. Definitely better to be safe than sorry in this case. Switch your tasks around, and don't spend more than an hour doing something which involves repetitive movements.



20/20/20

It would have been more fun to point out the importance of this rule in 2020, but it really holds just as true for 2023. To prevent eye strain and keeping your eyes from getting too tired out, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You can change it to 23/23/23 if you want, in the spirit of 2023, as long as you are doing it regularly!

It's easy to get too caught up in what you're doing and stare straight at your computer screen for hours on end, but it's actually pretty bad for you! Give your eyes a break and look away every now and then. Your eyes also have muscles and just like every other muscle in your body, they also get tired out from too much use.



Stand Up

We spend about a third of our lives at the workplace, and if you spend the entire time sitting, you'd be wasting away a third of your life just sitting in your office chair. That doesn't just sound unappealing, it's also bad from a health perspective. Sitting for too long is what causes the risk of problems like obesity, diabetes, and even cardiovascular disease to rise.

The best way to combat the harm of sitting would naturally be to not sit. It's unrealistic to expect yourself to stand all day though because despite its harms, sitting has its benefits too - especially when you're suffering from achy feet.

Take the time to get up and walk around every hour or so to stretch your legs and get that blood flowing. You can get some exercise and catch up on the workplace gossip at the same time.

But these short walks aren't always enough. You do need to spend a substantial amount of time not-sitting so you can offset some of the harm. This is difficult to do when you have a lot of work on your to-do list, especially if the work in question requires you to be at your computer.

One way to combat this problem is to get yourself a sit-stand desk like Flexispot's Kana Pro Bamboo Desk which lets you adjust the height at will and choose whether you want to work while sitting or standing - or both, but we think that would be a bit tricky to do. If you can manage it though, kudos!



Take Breaks

It's also important to take breaks throughout the work day. This is probably the most exciting tip we have to offer, because who doesn't like breaks? If you want a science-backed excuse to take some time away from work for yourself, this is it.

Breaks can be a great way to rejuvenate yourself and clear your mind. It doesn't have to be some fancy cruise at sea - you can just take a day off for yourself and relax a bit. Even work you enjoy can become too much at times and lead to burnout. If you have PTO, use it on yourself!

But breaks can also be smaller than that. In fact, even your lunch break has benefits because it is a way for you to get away from your desk and focus on yourself. Similarly, you can take microbreaks as well - short, five-minute breaks every hour or so that you use to stretch and relax for a bit before diving back into your work.

These may sound like they don't do much, but you'd be surprised how much microbreaks can help over the course of the day. In fact, it's recommended to take breaks often to help keep yourself focused and relaxed.

Just be careful not to take too many breaks though. Your boss probably wouldn't appreciate that very much, and that's not a good thing.



Eat!

Here's another fun tip. Yes, your food is linked to ergonomics. Healthy food that is, not the junk food you stuff in your bag.

Eating healthy is important for keeping yourself healthy, and you can only really stay fit if you are healthy! Spending all that time sitting or working can quickly get exhausting, and you should be getting a healthy, balanced diet to keep your energy up and strengthen yourself enough to keep going.

In fact, remember what we said about posture? Your muscles need strength to maintain good posture too. So, really, eating healthy is important.

That also means that you shouldn't be eating too much, though. While the right portion of the meal is also included in a "healthy" diet, it's necessary to mention that you are spending a lot of time sitting and if you're not exercising all those extra calories off, you're going to start putting on weight and risk yourself to problems like obesity and diabetes.

Which brings us to…



Exercise!

Fitness is all the rage lately, but fitness has really always been the rage. Implicitly, if nothing else. Anyone should be aiming to be fit if they don't want to be stranded with a plethora of health issues (and who wants that, really?)

Eating healthy is obviously vital to a healthy lifestyle, but working out and getting some exercise during the day is just as important. You need to work those muscles!

A gym membership can help, but there's only so much you can do when you spend the whole day at work. That's where Flexispot's Sit2Go Fitness Chair can come in, and let you get a little bit of workout at the workplace itself.

But that doesn't get all the work done and you should be fitting exercise into your schedule at least every other day.

The past few years haven't been easy, but that doesn't mean 2023 has to follow suit! By keeping these ergonomic tips in mind, you can make this year a lot better for your body from an ergonomic perspective and find yourself a lot happier when the next holiday season rolls around.