5 Ways To Prevent The Office Chair Tragedy
Quarantine and working remotely have done a number on every aspect of our lives. Limited socialization, ample snacking, and an endless stream of bright light in our faces. That’s not the worst of it…
The office chair tragedy is real. Since we have worked remotely, our coffee breaks, staff meetings, and water-cooler gossip have been thrown into a virtual world. We don’t realize how detrimental that is for our bodies and minds. Staring down at pixels all day is causing back pain, headaches, and much worse.
If you’re wondering what you can do to offset the back pain and other weaknesses caused by the office chair tragedy, the answer is easy: quit your job and travel the world like in Down To Earth with Zac Efron. If that isn’t an option for you, then keep reading. I got you covered.
Bad posture will kill you! … Maybe it won’t kill you, but it can cause:
2. Poor sleep
The spine is central to everything, because… well… it’s our central nervous system. Our arms, legs, and head are all connected and if something is wrong with any of those, it’s most likely because of a problem at the source. A weak posture will lead to pain, illness, and will prevent you from achieving your goals. Even though you’re stuck at a desk, there are things you can do to upset this imbalance. You don’t need to deal with back pain. Your posture does not have to SUCK.
1. Raise computer to eye level
The first change to your remote working environment is a simple fix for neck pain and postural alignment while working at your desk. I do it all the time and it works wonders on making sure I am looking straight ahead at my screen. If I forget, I end up with excruciating neck pain that shoots down my entire body. Not fun.
This one can be done in two ways:
The first is to raise your computer with books or a box that will make sure it sits at your eye level. The test is to look straight ahead. If the center of your screen is too low, then add another book!
I’ve also used stacks of printer paper if my computer has stands on both sides.
The second option is to lower your chair. Easy as pie!
2. Insert 5–10 minutes of yoga for every 1–2 hours of sitting
If you go too long without movement, your posture will suffer and so will your health. We were creatures made to move, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Yoga is the easiest way to get moving and keep your body engaged the entire day. Most yoga poses specifically target postural alignment.
I’m not a sponsored writer (not yet at least), but I will name-drop the yoga platforms I love to follow:
· Alo Moves has an app and thousands of on-demand videos from 5-minutes to full-on workouts.
· Sean Vigue is a funny, enthusiastic yoga coach that I love to watch. All his videos are free, but he does plug his book any chance he gets.
To counteract the office chair tragedy and ease back pain, you want to engage your core, your back, and your limbs in a way that gets blood flowing. Try to fit small bouts of exercise (even if it isn’t yoga) after every 1–2 hours. Imagine it’s a coffee break at work!
3. Switch to a standing desk (Even if it’s only half the time)
You don’t need to collapse on the job, but if you can use a standing desk for at least half of your day, your body will counteract the negative effects of sitting for too long. Your back will thank you. Your legs, however, may get a bit upset.
4. DO SOMETHING!
It’s so simple, but most neglect it. We sit at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while at work, and when we’re resting from our long day. Eventually our butts are going to be permanently stuck! (I don’t have a source for that one).
One easy trick is to DO SOMETHING during your lunch breaks. Walk to lunch. Find a friend and grab a bite. Make a lunch to-go and sit on a park bench. Smell the flowers and stop getting sucked into another Facebook post about WHY NASA IS HIDING ALIENS FROM YOU. I promise it doesn’t matter as much as doing good things for your body. You will find yourself more motivated and it will reduce back pain and the effects of the office chair tragedy.
5. Split Your Workout!
Working out is an excellent way to prevent back pain and gain strength. To maximize this effort, split your workout in two and separate them across your day. Make one more intense than the other and perform different exercises each session. If your normal workouts are an hour, do one 30-minute session before work and the second session later in the day.
Your body will learn to engage more than just during your scheduled, one-hour workout. It will get accustomed to being activated at multiple times throughout the day, enhancing and elongating your energy. Plus, you get to try different workouts, which is FUN! (I promise I’m not crazy). Some quarantine friendly ones:
· Martial Arts