Knowing the major causes of office head-trauma can help you avoid this pain at work. If headaches are common for you, remember to stay hydrated (headaches are most commonly caused by dehydration). If that's not it, check your eyes. People who stare at computers all day tend to develop computer-related eye strain, which can tire the eyes and lead to headaches. To combat this, periodically focus your eyes on something far away for 15 seconds, then go back to work. And finally, for those with neck pain, make sure your computer screen's position is properly adjusted in front of your face, so that you're not looking off to the side and throwing of your body's muscular structure. Head rests and computer monitor arms are ideal neck-savers at the office.
Upper back pain can also be caused by a misplaced computer screen. When people are constantly turning to view something that isn't directly in front of them, their body adjusts itself to their viewing habits, throwing off muscular structure and leading to terrible pain. Monitor arms are a good solution. However, if you know your computer is properly positioned, consider your sitting habits. Slouching is terrible for the back and shoulders, yet far too many office professionals do it. Add office chairs with lumbar support, or even a few luxury and massage chairs to encourage better seating habits. Tie your shoulders to your chair back if you have to - it's better than slouching!
Knees and Toes
Most office professionals tend to think that if they're sitting all day, knee pain couldn't possibly be an issue. Wrong! Knee and foot pain are actually two of the most common office pains around. Chairs that are too high (often trying to compensate for a tall desk) often leaves the user's feet dangling in midair, putting you and gravity on opposing sides. Your knees try to keep your legs attached to your body but gravity pulls the weight of your legs down, causing tremendous pressure to build up, and blocking blood flow. Properly adjusted workstations and chairs can fix the issue, and so can ergonomic seating with waterfall seats to gently support the knees. You've done the job right if your knees, buttocks, and elbows are bent at right angles, and your feet are flat on the floor.
Get Up, Stand Up
One popular trend for combatting office pain is by simply standing up! Ergonomic experts tend to agree that the human body was much better designed for standing than sitting, so office desks that accommodate both lifestyles make ideal work tools. Adding ergonomic sit to stand desks is one of the most healthful decisions an office can make for employees, as standing helps to prevent slouching and much of the office-related pains associated with sitting. However, too much standing can be harmful too. Without periodic seated breaks, legs can tire and blood flow becomes inhibited. If you use a standing desk, take breaks, and invest in good shoes and cushioned floor pads.
If you're a standing desk user, you know the importance of seated breaks. Not only do these breaks help rest your legs, but they also improve blood flow. But even for those who don't use standing desks, breaks are still important. Taking the opportunity to get up and take a short walk around the office, or a quick stroll on your lunch break can provide vital respites to reenergize you for the rest of the day. Stretch breaks and deskercises are something you can do right in your cubicle to help improve focus and reduce discomfort. Making an effort to stay active, even at a sedentary desk job, does wonders for the mind and body!
The right diet can make all the difference in anyone's workday. Some foods even have the power to grant better brain power, more focus, or more energy at the office. For brainpower, tomatoes, walnuts, whole grains, fish, and blueberries are powerful food choices. For energy, avocados, bananas, a nice spinach salad, almonds, watermelon, and citrus are highly effective energizers, loaded with vitamins and electrolytes. However, one simple fix if you're feeling a little wilted is water. Like a plant, your body needs water to stay fresh, perky, and awake. Squeeze a little citrus in there for a double whammy. Your body will thank you for it!
A comfortable environment is another thing that's often taken for granted in the workplace. If you're feeling a little tired and lifeless, perhaps its because the cubicles and workstations around you feel the exact same way. Take a friday afternoon to decorate your cubicle (appropriately) with the things you like. Pictures from home, art from the kids, famous paintings, and printouts of scenic vistas are great ways to enliven your office and make it comfortable for you. These inspiring windows to the outside world can help keep you going. A pair of headphones for some light music and a blanket if your office is drafty are other ways to stay physically comfortable in an otherwise boring workroom.
You know what they say about cleanliness! And believe us - it's something that cannot be looked over in an office. According to a UK study in 2008, computer keyboards are often five times dirtier than an average toilet seat! All those greasy fingers and falling food from lunch breaks gathers between the keys if you don't employ retractable keyboard trays to reduce the mess. Take the opportunity at the end of every work day to clean and wipe down your cubicle. The items that need the most attention are usually keyboards, pens, drawer handles, and the computer. Yes, the computer needs cleaning too. Once a month, make sure to delete old files, clear caches, and run anti-virus scans to improve productivity. Finally, do some periodic maintenance on your office hardware, tightening screws on the desk and chair, and oiling hinges. All this extra effort will ensure the continuous health and functionality of you and your workplace!
* Bonus Tip: Turning off your computer at night not only saves power, but it also gives your computer the opportunity to rest and reboot. Like a human brain, computers need their rest in order to function fast and at full capacity the next day!
Arms, Wrists, and Hands
One body part that's often neglected by office users are the arms, which is especially strange since most office workers use them for everything. Being neglectful of one's arms and the way they are used though can have drastic consequences. Arthritis, poor blood flow, weakness, musculo-skeletal disorders, and even carpal tunnel syndrome can all develop from unhealthful arm use. Ideally, the elbow should be kept at right angles, with hands and wrists parallel to the forearms. Working and typing this way will help to improve blood flow. This way, the arms don't endure unnecessary stress.
* Bonus Tip: Repetition is another killer that takes a big toll on the muscles. Periodically take the opportunity to stretch, not just your arms and hands, but the whole body. This varies up your movement and helps keep muscles limber and wide awake!
And I'm Feeling Good!
Working in an office can be tough stuff for the mind as well as the body. When at work, fortify your upbeat attitude all day long. Listen to good music on the way to work. Eat an energizing breakfast, with filling snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism going. Take short, frequent stretch breaks to stay active. And keep yourself going with funny quotes and videos to view during break times. Happiness is not something that just happens - it takes effort. After all, if you're at work for eight hours per day, you might as well enjoy it!