9 Simple Tweaks to Make Your Work Space Way Healthier

You spend at least a third of your day at your office, and if it's not set up the right way, it could be adding to your aches and pains—and stress. Here are easy ways to make your office more ergonomic and healthier.

Ditch the desk

deskJacob Lund/shutterstockSitting down for eight or more hours a day can give you a pain in the neck, lead to obesity, and even drive you to an early grave. Those are just a few of the reasons adjustable desks that allow you to work standing up or sit down are becoming more popular. Dr. Zarinah Hud, DO, CEO and Medical Director of Rebound Sports and Rehab, LLC, agrees that office workers should modify their desks for comfort and health. You should aim to stand more than you sit because the average person burns up to 50 more calories in an hour standing, she says. Even if you use a standing desk she recommends you still aim to change position regularly. An adjustable standing desk that can easily be lowered to a sitting position, like the Varidesk, is ideal. She suggests all workers set their alarm for every two hours as a reminder to stand, stretch, jog in place for one minute, and drink water. "This provides hydration, cardiovascular conditioning, improves flexibility, improves blood flow to the brain, and can improve energy and focus." Here are more ways to help your body recover from a day of sitting.

Change your chair

chairwavebreakmedia/shutterstockIt's time to rethink your traditional swivel chair, too. "I love inflatable exercise balls as chairs in the home or workplace office, because you must activate your core to maintain correct posture," Dr. Zarinah (her preferred moniker) says. Studies show that one can burn approximately six percent more calories sitting on exercise balls compared to sitting in a regular chair. A study by the European Journal of Applied Physiology also found that exercise balls, such as the Dynapro Exercise Ball, burn more calories than sitting in a normal office chair. Although it isn't a huge increase in calories burned, every little helps! When you're done working for the day, here are some awesome ab exercises you can do on your ball.

 

Get more support

chairAfrica Studio/shutterstockIf you suffer from any back pain, including sciatica, or you just want to sit better you might consider trying Katherine Krug's BetterBack posture trainer and support, it features a comfortable pad and straps that go on your back and knees to promote better posture. This clever product is ultra portable and makes any chair ergonomic. If your back is regularly giving you pain, stash a mini self-massage stick like Tiger Tail in your desk drawer for quick massage breaks. Read on for six surprising benefits of massage.

 

Organize your work space

organizeJack Frog/ShutterstockThe average desk harbors more than 400 times the germs of a toilet—eww!—which makes keeping your desk clean, tidy, and organized necessary to maintaining health and keeping germs at bay. It's so much easier to dust and clean your desk on the reg when pesky wires are kept out of the way. The Satechi: 10-Port USB 3.0 Premium Aluminum Hub allows you to clean up a range of USB devices by having them all charge in one central location. Bonus: It's sleek design also happens to look really cool on your desk. Here are some tips for setting up your workspace for ultimate productivity.

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Breathe cleaner

cleanArtFamily/shutterstockIt's a good idea to make sure the air in your home office is clear and pure to protect against a variety of airborne viruses that can lead to colds and allergies. Try the Miro CleanPot Aroma Plus Humidifier which creates a relaxing aromatic experience in your room. Caroline Blazovsky, of My Healthy Home, a home investigator for over 17 years, suggests, "Make sure carpeting and surfaces are vacuumed with a HEPA filter and sealed system vacuum. Dust your desk regularly. Both vacuuming and dusting help reduce dander, proteins and dust mites from contributing to allergens in your work space." Find out all the weird things you can be allergic to.

Light right

lightsuperelaks/shutterstockLighting is very important to encourage productivity and to help you to maximize your working day, as dim lighting can strain your eyes and make you feel tired. Philips Hue line of lighting solutions features a personal wireless lighting system that allows you to custom light your entire space. You can select the best light for your mood and create the perfect ambiance either for work or play.

A real pain in the neck

neckg stockstudio/shutterstockIf your job requires you to make a lot of phone calls, holding the headset in between your shoulder and head can cause serious neck pain. It can also be hard to concentrate in any office setting with excess noise. Solve both problems by donning a pair of stylish Phiaton: BT 460 On-ear wireless headphones. They feature touch-interface controls, audio sharing, and smart play/pause. You'll be able to concentrate in peace and make phone calls without straining your neck. And try these exercises to reduce neck pain.

 

 

Save your wrist

wristinterstid/ShutterstockOffice workers can be prone to developing a range of repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel and arthritis. If you are using a laptop you might find the included touch mouse pad a little fiddly, especially if you are spending long hours working. Try the Swiftpoint Gesture Based Computer Mouse, which is a wireless mouse held with an ergonomic pen like grip, more like a stylus, thereby reducing the impact of repetitive stress injuries and strain on muscles.

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Laptop woes

laptopigorstevanovic/shutterstockMany of us use our laptop as the name suggests, on our laps. But after a while, this can become very uncomfortable and strain a variety of muscles including those in our eyes, not to mention, leaving you with hot laptop legs. Using a raised platform like the iSkelter Easel Desk, a fun, functional, and very portable easel that offers great ventilation to your computer and ensures your screen is optimized for comfort. But you still need to clean it—those laptops can get really dirty!

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Reader’s Digest editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of revenue from our partners, such as Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected].

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