Why Ergonomics Will Save You from the Desk Life

Ergonomics can help save you from the desk life.

Most people who have chronic back pain will receive treatment ranging from addicting pain killers, surgery to steroid injections.

While sometimes required, these extreme practices can suck the money from your pockets.

They leave us broken in more ways than one.

People are being lied to.

In all areas of their lives; from their health, finances, politics to media.

The reality is that staying healthy isn’t as complicated as some make it out to be.

It also hasn’t changed much either.

What has changed however, is our lifestyle.

Ergonomics

They say sitting is the new smoking.

For all the great benefits of productivity it has given to us, it has stolen our well-being and left us crippled.

For that, we should be aware of the dangers of the desk life.

People can be left seriously banged up.

That is why it is essential that you take care of your health at all times.

It cannot be neglected for 12 hours of the day, to then think that it can be recuperated in the remaining 4 hours.

Introducing ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.

It shouldn’t be something shrugged off so easily.

Whether you have  a book or a computer in front of you, there is a right way to sit at your desk and a wrong way.

You may be thinking ”It’s just sitting at a desk what’s the big deal?”

It is a big deal when you repeat the same patterns day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Sitting too often can leave you with a number of problems including:

  • Tight hip flexors and hamstrings
  • Rounded upper backs
  • Shoulder, neck, and low back pain

All problems which can be prevented.

Sure, you may get away with it when you are young.

But the loaded stress may catch up with you eventually.

When it does, you will be glad you took care of your posture now.

How to work properly:

  • Get a good chair, not some junk that you slip off of constantly
  • Sit right back in it so your butt is in the seat angle
  • Rest your back against the seat
  • If your seat doesn’t have a curve in it to support your lumbar spine, place a rolled up towel in there
  • Hips and knees should be perpendicular with the floor
  • Ensure that the screen is at eye level. Constantly looking down puts a lot of stress on your cervical spine.
  • The keyboard should be close to you and at a level so that your forearms are parallel to the ground. Having that raised shoulders nerd look is not a good one.
  • Place your feet in a stable position
  • Try not to slouch by keeping your core tight
  • Reap the rewards

HOW TO SET UP YOUR DESK FOR BEST POSTURE · Great Deskbound Therapy post by @dr.jacob.harden taking about the importance of proper workstation set to improve your posture! · Surviving the desk life is about endurance. You're going to slouch. That's ok. Just don't stay there all day. You need to do all the things you can to mitigate the stress volume sitting all day places on you. And while movement and micro-breaks are king, there are going to be times where you simply can't get up.😢 . That's where desk ergonomics come in. Adjusting your chair and desk appropriately will set you up for the most endurance possible. Here's how you do it: . 💺 Chair set so that your hips and knees are around 90° with feet flat. If you have short legs, get something to put your feet on. A nice back support can help too. . 💻 Computer screen should be about an arm's length away and up at eye level. Tilt the screen up so that you have a downward gaze of about 20°. This setup minimizes eye strain and keeps you from hunching forward to see the screen. . ⌨🖱Keyboard and Mouse at a level where the elbows are at 90° so that you don't have to bend your wrists to type. Place the keyboard with the letter "B" centered in front of you and the mouse off to the side. This basic setup can save you a lot of neck and back aches. Don't forget to move and you'll finally survive that desk life. #Myodetox #DeskboundTherapy#prehab #rehab #physicaltherapy #strengthtraining

A post shared by David London RYT-200, CPT (@deskboundtherapy) on

I was once a sufferer of back pain

I tried many different treatments and exercises.

You name it, I had either tried it or heavily considered it at one stage.

Back pain held me back in pursuing the many pleasures in life.

It was often the limiting factor when considering to do something.

Like a dependent who is reliant on you for everything, I had to check whether my back was OK with it.

When  a problem  arises, one must understand that the answer may not lie directly in front of them.

It is only after that “ahh haa” moment we think how can we have been so blind as to ignore such a key token of information.

Some quick anatomy…

The hip flexor (psoas muscle) is attached on to the anterior portion of the spine.

As a result of consistently sitting for periods too long of a time, my hip flexor was  extremely tight.

This caused pull on the front of my spine and as such, manifested as pain in my lower back.

I sat too much and moved too little.

A result of irresponsible work.

The desk life is not a healthy one if taken to extremes.

Luckily, ergonomics will help control this.

We were not meant to be folded up into origami for hours upon end.

I’m not saying your back pain is a result of a tight hip flexor, but this just highlights the fact that the desk life is damaging.

Maybe you will find something similar.

Injuries are tough but need to be dealt with.

Your health needs it

If we are seeking longevity (and we should be), then taking care of our bodies should be of paramount importance.

What good is money if we cannot enjoy it?

A life relegated to a wheelchair or walking stick is regrettable and one we should not be welcoming with open arms.

We should be declaring war on such self-harming practices.

The body needs to be taken care of.

It is our mode of being and how we interact with the world.

If you don’t take care of something it will eventually break down, rot and collapse.

We are no different.

Facilitating the process only compounds the problem.

Why Ergonomics will save you from the desk life

When pain strikes

Pain is a signal that there is something wrong.

It is when your brain has perceived a threat.

When you feel it, something needs to change..

I’m not talking about the ‘burn’ or anything else that has positive effects.

I’m talking about the pain which you should avoid.

We ignore such intricate systems at our own peril.

It is not a good idea to just ‘carry on’ when there are other options.

Changing positions or technique is necessary when pain strikes.

Lifting pain-free is one of the greatest pleasures in life, find out why.

The body was built to move

By moving, you will effectively provide the ailment that others have been fooled into missing.

Taking a short break every hour and going for a quick walk will help to limit the damage.

There are numerous stretches that can help ease the work load too.

DON'T LET DESK POSTURE KILL YOUR BACK Sit up straight! You've been told that your entire life. And yet you still find yourself slouching at the desk. 😕 Why? Because you're human. Telling someone to sit up ⤴ straight all day simply builds an unrealistic expectation. You're going to slouch. And that's ok. You're going to have bad posture. And that's ok. What you need is a simple routine to keep yourself from getting stuck there. . 😯 Discomfort sets in as a signal for you to move. Ignore it, and that discomfort becomes 😣 pain. Ignore that, and that 😖 pain stays with you even after you've gotten up. And while it's ideal for you to get up and walk around 2 to 3 times an hour, sometimes you just can't leave the cubicle. So here we go again. Another drill you can do right at the 💻 desk. For this one, we are going to take our spine through cycles of flexion and extension. There are 3 variations. . ☝ Tilt the pelvis back and forth as you move to get motion to the lower lumbar spine. ✌ Lean forward and keep the pelvis stable. You'll now drive more thoracic and upper lumbar motion. 👌 Put it all together. Start at the neck and curl all the way down until you tilt the pelvis backwards. Then reverse it into an anterior tilt and spinal extension. Don't push into any painful areas. If you don't tolerate a motion well, just move ⛕ around it. You'll most likely find that it opens up after a few go rounds. Get moving. Get loose. And then get back to work. . 🎵 – Aire Atlantica – June #MyodetoxOrlando #Myodetox #FutureproofYourBody

A post shared by Dr. Jacob Harden (@dr.jacob.harden) on

People have also reverted to getting standing desks too with success.

It’s all about preventing the extreme hunched-over look.

Taking breaks will prevent this.

Many others are doing less movement when they get back pain.

They are often making their problems worse.

When they become ‘bed ridden’ as a result of their pain, their muscles will weaken which makes movement even harder.

This only reinforces their decision to stay in bed, causing an endless cycle of back pain.

The next step for many is to then increase the seriousness of treatment from there.

As a result, even more problems can be created.

When livelihood is at stake

An online hustler, office clerk and writer: they all have one thing in common, what is it?

They all rely on using a desk to provide their source of income.

Without it they would be relegated to lying on a bed like a Slumdog.

If they are so reliant on it, then why do millions of people put their livelihoods on the line by using terrible posture at the desk?

One day of bad posture won’t break you just like one good day won’t fix you.

Built up stress can eventually break you and leave you struggling to work unlike before.

This is the reality for many across the globe.

Complacency set in and they forgot about themselves in the midst of it all.

Either that or they didn’t know until the pain set in.

Now they have learned the hard way.

You can’t drag your body through glass and expect there to be no marks at the end.

 

Moving correctly is the cure

Applying ergonomics when you are sitting and you’re on to a winner.

Our natural processes, often times are what brings us back to life.

It it when we are at our best.

Modern living has crushed us into something we are simply not designed for.

No amount of fit tea detoxes can undo decades of damage on a person.

Going to yoga once a week won’t solve it.

Sleep rejuvenates us, healthy food properly fuels us, water hydrates us.

The simplest and most abundant things are so hard for many of us to obtain.

We instead prefer late nights, garbage food and teeth rotting drinks.

Instead of living a good life through taking on responsibility for our own actions, we seek to offset our duties onto corporations, ‘experts’ and other charlatans who tell us what we want to hear.

You can’t get something for nothing.

We haven’t changed much in the last 50 years to offset the previous 10,000 of evolution.

By following a self-destructive lifestyle you are doing a great disservice to your future children.

If you can have children that is.

5 Ways Obesity Affects Your Fertility

It is not just a disservice in terms of being healthy enough to move and play with them.

Your genes are altered by the food you put into your body as well.

If you eventually pass them on, they will not be the same.

To assume that you can so easily ‘hack’ the human body by putting electronic vibrators on your abs or by putting butter in your coffee is foolish.

When we are young we have a naive attitude to health.

Our recovery and endurance is so good that we convince ourselves it will be like that forever.

We all get old and so it should be done gracefully, not by nose diving into a care home at 50.

Don’t rely on future medical technology to save you.

Allow it to increase an already high quality of life.

By working so ignorantly when you are young, you risk endangering the rest of your life to broken promises of eternal youth.

What can you do?

If you are sitting down reading this and realise that you are a guilty party in this posture disaster then fear not.

It is not too late to change your ways.

In fact, right now is the perfect time to change.

Well 10 years ago would have been better, but all we have is the present so today will do.

What can you do to improve yourself then?

Apply all the information lined out above and make a positive change in yourself today.

If you ever find yourself slouching fear not.

Just get back to your ergonomics approved posture and you’re good.

It’s not about being perfect but just about being substantially better than before.

I recently became aware of an article – how the billion dollar back industry is a lie.

Reading the article sparked my attention to write about my trouble with back pain and how it was solved through unlikely efforts.

Applying ergonomics while I work has helped me tremendously.

By | 2017-07-09T16:43:50+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Fitness|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Philip Braselmann July 17, 2017 at 8:52 am - Reply

    I found that a pull up bar at home that I hang from every morning and evening before bed and sleeping on the ground helped a lot with my back problems and adjusted my spine!

  2. steeveau July 23, 2017 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I find the bridge to be the most effective exercise for reducing back problems and pain. But you’re definitely right that making these lasting ergonomic changes is the most important thing to do.

    • Peter July 23, 2017 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the comment Steve. Yeah the bridge is awesome. I have the bridge from the floor down so I am going to work on getting into it from standing.

  3. […] Using social media at a desk can be damaging. […]

  4. […] For many, the ability to leave all their problems at the door for an hour is a unique opportunity. Without it they wouldn’t be able to achieve the balance between their health and their work. […]

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