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Monthly Archives: September 2013
Whether you’re in need of an office chair for the day job or for your home office, it’s a significant decision. Not only will that chair represent a serious investment of cash, but it needs to provide the support and comfort that you need whether you’ll be sitting down for an hour or spending the entire day in its embrace. Making an informed buying decision is very important, and the following features should come into play in that decision. The right chair will keep you happy and healthy, but the wrong chair can actually lead to serious health conditions, as noted by SpineHealth.
Back Height and Style
A quick look at the various chairs on the market will show you a plethora of back heights and styles. Do you need a chair with a tall back? Do you need a mid-back chair? Is it better to get a chair with a built-in headrest on the back? The back of the chair is important, but you should focus more on a few key areas than just height. Lumbar support in the lower chair back is the most important consideration.
Good support here can make a significant difference in reducing aches and pains, and even in developing spinal disorders. The height of the back should be enough to accommodate your usual sitting position (leaning into the back, for instance), but lumbar support is more important.
The style of the chair’s back is also important. It should conform to (and encourage) the natural curvature of your spine. If the back of the chair is straight, or if it curves in an unnatural way, it’s best to avoid it.
Seat Material and Padding
You’ll find office chairs with all types of seat coverings, from leather to mesh and everything in between. There are models with standard foam padding, and those with memory foam. Choose an office chair with enough padding and support that you’ll be comfortable for the duration. If you will spend a significant amount of time in the chair each day (eight hours or more), opt for thicker memory foam. Mesh can also be comfortable, and the breathability can keep you cooler while seated.
The height of your chair is another very important consideration. It should be adjustable, and you should be able to move the height to a position where your feet sit flat on the floor. If your feet are elevated (or hanging), you’ll cut off blood flow to your lower legs and feet. This can lead to muscle pain, enlarged veins, fatigue and other problems. You will need to match the height of your chair to the height of your desk, though. If you’re not able to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your arms even with the desk’s height, you should consider a different desk.
Each of the areas mentioned above should be considered before investing in any office chair. The right chair can make an enormous difference in comfort, as well as health.
Does it seem like all you do is work? Does it feel like your life is out of your control? Does it seem as though you spend more time embroiled in projects for your employer than you spend with your own children? If so, you’re not alone according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, welcome to the modern world. Most of us have a work/life balance that’s out of whack, off-kilter and skewed so that we lack control over the one thing that we actually own – our time. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The following tips will help you improve your work/life balance and regain a measure of control over your life.
1. Leave Work Where It Belongs
All too often, it seems like we bring our work home with us. This might be literal – you’re bringing home that file that just HAS to be done by tomorrow. It might be figurative – you’re carrying home the arguments, stress and interoffice politics that plague your workday. Do yourself and your family a favor. Leave work where it belongs – at the workplace. Separate your work life from your home life and you’ll immediately feel better balanced.
2. Track Time
If you feel like your work and home life are spiraling out of control, chances are that you’re spending too much time on things that ultimately don’t matter. Track the amount of time you spend on everything, whether you’re taking your kid to the soccer field or making a mad dash to complete that project at work. Based on your findings, cut out anything that’s unnecessary or superfluous. Eliminate time-wasting activities and you’ll free up time for more important things.
3. Take More Time Off
Taking more time off might seem like a pipe dream, but it can (and should) be a reality. There are plenty of benefits to getting away from the workplace for extended periods. You’ll find that it helps to combat burnout and improves both your creativity and your productivity when you return. The more time off you take, the better you’ll feel and the better you’ll perform on the job.
4. Communication Overhaul
How much time to you spend corresponding via email each day? How long do you spend on the phone? How much time is wasted talking to coworkers about a project? Most of our communications are meaningless. Cut out any extraneous communications during the day (that includes those hours you waste on Facebook and Twitter), and you’ll feel more in control of your life.
5. Organization Is Essential
If you’re disorganized, you can expect to waste time. That wasted time comes directly out of your personal life, not your work life. Get organized (both on the job and at home). The more organized you are, the more free time and flexibility you’ll enjoy both at work and at home. If you follow these five simple tips, you’ll be able to make drastic improvements in your work/life balance and regain control over your own destiny. Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/work-life-balance/WL00056/NSECTIONGROUP=2 http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/03/improving-work-life-balance.html http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/18/8-ways-to-achieve-better-work-life-balance/
Going green is important today, and not just for consumers. Increasingly, customers expect the businesses they patronize to do their part for the environment. While that might include massive changes like installing solar panels or buying carbon credits, it doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming or difficult. In fact, there are several simple things you can do to green up your office that will benefit your brand’s image, as well as improve the health of your workers. Here’s what you need to know.
Let in the Light
The harsh fluorescent lights used in most offices are bad for eyes, for skin, for mood and more. They’re just plain bad. Get rid of those (or limit their use) by letting in more natural sunlight. If your office windows are covered by blinds most of the time, open them up and let in the sun. Of course, your office might not have that many windows, but there are still things you can do. Lighting options are available that mirror the wavelength and color of natural sunlight, and they can be installed affordably. You can also invest in greener lighting options – CFLs are less harmful to the environment, last much, much longer than traditional bulbs and are good for your company’s image.
Bring in the Green
For thousands of years, humanity lived in close proximity to nature. Our bodies and minds still crave that connection even if we don’t realize it. Cold, sterile, synthetic environments sap our productivity, reduce our morale and impact our moods. They can also lead to health problems as well. Adding plants to your office will improve the health quality of the office environment, and will also have an impact on worker productivity and happiness. Don’t stop with the interior, though. Go ahead and green up your building’s exterior. Not only will this make a big impact on clients or customers, but plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, so you’ll be doing the world and your lungs a favor as well.
If you think that recycled paper has to be low quality, stiff and virtually unusable, it’s time to think again. There are some very high quality recycled paper options on the market these days. Every piece of recycled paper you use helps conserve vital natural resources. It also helps save space in those overcrowded landfills. Finally, switching to 100% recycled paper can be a big boon for your company’s PR – consumers love to see companies doing their due to protect the world.
While we’re not suggesting you let your workers bring their household trash to work, you can make it easier for them to recycle the waste generated in the workplace. Add recycling bins for cardboard, paper, plastic and glass in strategic places throughout the office. Most employees will appreciate both the nod toward protecting the environment and the chance to do more on their own.
Greening up the workplace is important, but it might not be as hard as you think. Follow the simple steps above to make big changes.
Many chairs are labeled ergonomic, but few people actually know what the word means. To some, it merely means the chair is designed somewhat strangely, with interestingly shaped seats and backrests. For others, ergonomic chairs are all about helping out the user’s health. However, not everyone understands just what the components of an ergonomic chair can do for a person’s comfort and well being. Many jobs require the individual to sit all day, staring at a computer screen. While no one should sit for eight hours a day, in many cases, it is unavoidable. Employees sitting in chairs that don’t have ergonomic components might be experiencing aches and pains.
A common problem with standard office chairs is that they can create a whole laundry list of health problems for the user. As a result, days are missed from work due to piercing back pain. If you have a chair with ergonomic components, you will quickly discover just how different the workplace can be. In addition to assisting with productivity, ergonomic chairs provide features that promote better health. If you are suffering from any of the following aches and pains, here are a few ergonomic solutions that can help reverse the problem.
One of the most common complaints of office workers is that they are experiencing back pain. Back pain is often caused by sitting for too long and in a bad position. An ergonomic chair for back pain aims to reverse these pains by supporting the back. A key aspect to ergonomically designed chairs is a lumbar support adjustment feature. This aspect allows the user to adjust the support of the chair to fit their back. As a result, the back is supported and pain is lessened. The lumbar support feature corrects slouching that might be causing the back pain. As a result, the strain on the lower spine is eliminated. If you are dealing with back pain but you don’t want to buy a new chair, you can always look into ergonomic lumbar support pillows for that added boost.
Hand, Arm and Finger Pains
You might not think that your office chair could affect your hands, arms and fingers. However, how your arms are positioned while you type can be deteriorating the health and wellness of those fingers and hands. Ergonomic features tend to involve adjustable armrests. The idea is that you should be able to adjust the arms of your chair based on what you are doing. For example, arms should not be resting when typing. It slows down blood flow and can lead to problems down the road. A chair with adjustable arms allows you to move the armrests to prevent these aches and pains.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
An improper seat in an office can lead to pains in the back, but also pains throughout the neck and shoulders. Ergonomic solutions call for chairs that have height adjustment. If the height of your chair doesn’t match with your desk or your person, you might be raising your shoulders. As a result, pain sets in. And the neck is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. If it is not properly supported, you could be doing serious damage to your health.
To deal with neck and shoulder pain, there is always an ergonomic solution. Most ergonomic chairs come with a headrest. A headrest can help improve neck comfort by propping up the head to create less strain. Pains due to a bad office chair are often all related. The same can be said with neck and shoulder pain. If you start experiencing neck and shoulder pain due to your office chair, your pains might trickle down the back. It is essential to find an ergonomic solution to correct the problem from the neck down.