Sitting at a work desk for too long can take a toll on your body. Cube dwellers may not have the freedom of movement that a spacious corner office offers, but they can still enjoy a comfortable, ergonomically sound work experience. These simple action steps can help you transform an ordinary cubicle into a welcoming workspace that can leave you feeling your best at the end of the day.
Use an Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk
Studies suggest that even if you exercise, sitting for extended periods of time day after day can lead to health problems, including heart disease, weight gain, mental health issues and a higher risk of becoming disabled. Unfortunately, in an office setting, sitting tends to come with the territory. Recently, standing desks have become quite popular among professionals, as they allow users to continue working while they stand. Many of the top standing desks are easily adjustable, so you can quickly transition between sitting and standing whenever you feel like you need to get your blood moving. They take up the same amount of space as a standard desk, so they're ideal for upgrading your cubicle for better health.
Invest in an Ergonomic Chair
Even with a sit-stand desk, you're still going to spend a significant portion of the day sitting down. If your office desk chair is uncomfortable or poorly designed, you may experience common issues such as back pain and poor posture. Investing in an ergonomic office chair is one of the easiest long-term solutions for work-related pain. Consider finding an adjustable computer desk chair with back support. You can look for features such as the ability to tilt the chair's backing and lock it in place and height-adjustable arm rests. You may be surprised by how much of a difference a customized fit can make.
Stand on a Floor Mat
Standing while you work offers health and productivity benefits, but standing for too long can also cause problems such as leg cramps and backaches. Fortunately, anti-fatigue mats can provide an easy solution. In addition to helping make your floor significantly more comfortable, anti-fatigue mats often incorporate ergonomic designs that can encourage continual foot movement, which can also help improve your blood flow. A quality floor mat is a work accessory that can often be overlooked, but it can make a difference in your overall quality of cubicle life.
Use Wrist Rests and Mouse Pads
After using your computer for a prolonged period of time, you may notice some soreness. That's usually because you're not getting enough support. Using wrist rests and mouse pads is a simple yet effective way to help reduce problems in the wrists, as well as the hands and shoulders. A little bit of cushion goes a long way in improving your overall comfort, and rests and pads can help elevate your hands a little bit higher for better support.
Type with an Ergonomic Keyboard
Sometimes traditional keyboards don't cut it, especially if you spend a significant amount of time typing. Ergonomic keyboards are designed with curves and contours that can minimize muscle strain. They allow your hands to sit at more natural angles, which can even facilitate faster typing speeds after some practice. Traditional keyboards tend to incorporate utilitarian designs that get the job done, but they're not designed with comfort as the first priority. After switching over, you may wonder how you went so long without one.
Keep Portable Exercise Equipment Handy
Exercising throughout the day is one of the most effective ways to reduce pain, improve focus and boost your mood while also improving your long-term health. Of course you can't fit an indoor bicycle into your cube, but there are plenty of compact exercise equipment options out there that you can tuck right under your desk to bring out as needed. For example, a balance board is small, but it really helps provide a great workout. You can also use an aerobic pedal exerciser, wobble board, mini stepper or stability ball in a small area without causing a disturbance to your co-workers. Even just a few minutes of light exercise can be helpful.
If you're spending at least eight hours in a cubicle daily, it just makes sense to make it a pleasant environment. Consider these products as investments in your overall happiness, as well as your professional future. After all, when you feel good, both physically and mentally, you can work more efficiently.
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