How To Build An Ergonomic Workspace For A Bad Back – The Work Plan
Now there’s a buzzer beater, one final shot and it goes in to win the game…its a familiar concept that’s widely applied to building an ergonomic work-space for a bad back.
Just like a buzzer beater, the difference between a quick fix and a long term one is one shot away.
Most people take the Highway as opposed to my way, they believe that their pain is continuous no matter where they go, or whichever part of the day it is, they’re cursed with inflammation after inflammation.
But I’m here to tell you, that’s far from the case…
It would be a crime for me to ask you if you’ve ever felt your back give out while at work, so let me try to rephrase what I want to ask you…
Are You Still In Pain From Working?
every 1 in 2 women and every 1 in 5 men will fall victim to properly addressing their back problems at work, and are more so the ones that visit their doctors office repetitively. That’s all going to change today! I’m going to show you how to build an ergonomic work space for a bad back by doing it on:
- a budget
That’s right, I don’t want you to go out and buy heavy priced chairs, desk if at all possible, so I’m going to include these in the conversation but I’ll show you how to intergrate other properties beforehand.
But if you want to skip on the building of an ergonomic work environment, and want to know how to relieve your lower back pain at work without the models I’m about to show you, then go ahead and visit my how to work with back pain article here.
So what are we waiting for, Let’s dive in!
Why Ergonomics Should Matter To You
Have you ever sat on a flat chair, a torn up seat, or walked around your work-space and noticed a clutter of items just laying around? You haven’t experienced the realities of work yet if you haven’t.
I want you to imagine yourself in an office setting, and you’re just grinding away on a busy day. What are you aware of? Is it your:
- thinking habits?
Without a shadow of a doubt, I know you’re not. And why do you think that is? It’s because we’re ruthless and we don’t care about the external sources right? Not exactly…
Our attention is 100% focused on the monitor screen, and never on any other feature outside of it. By the time you happen to turn away from your desktop, waiting for you is a clutter of paperwork, and you’re only an ache and pain away from your next sudden or days of onset inflammation(chronically speaking).
So what’s the point? No one really pays attention to their surroundings as much as they do to their task. At all expense, its become about getting the job done, and never about productivity.
What if you could finally get more of your work done, be productive doing it, and get it done in a shorter amount of time?
Did a light bulb just shine off the top of your head?
Every environment has a demand, but it doesn’t have to come to an expense of a bad back. If you can properly setup a work environment, then you can set yourself up for a long lasting success.
How to Properly Setup An Ergonomic Work Space
Now everyone has a different back problem, so the type of objects you might need will differ from person to person, but the general criteria always stays the same:
- Identify your space
- Get rid of what you don’t need
- Setup your space to work in
Before you think about getting back to your job duties, I want you to make an extra 15 minutes during your lunch hour, after work, or it can even be the morning of. You’ll be thanking me later, as you get home, you’ll feel like you can do much more activities.
So let’s look more at criteria # 1, and lets break how that would look like step by step.
STEP 1: How much room is there? Every time that I’ve found myself in a new working environment, I always had to look at my surroundings. Doing this helps you understand how you’re going to move. For example, lets take the example of an office setting again.
If I walk into my cubical, I’m going to want to see how I can move in there. Are there more people in there?, Is there a small gap between you and the next person. Can you move to your left or right, and back without bumping into anything/anyone?
STEP 2: What’s in reaching distance? Anytime I sit down, I want to make sure that my paperwork, my pens and pencils, and necessary items are in reach or out of my way. If you can place your items in reaching distance, this will limit your chances of stretching your right or left lower abdomen, which is what you want to do while working.
Many of us with a spinal problem will feel a tug and pull much more painful then lets say someone with chronic pain that is not specifically related to the spine.
STEP 3: Can you move your legs and hands? No one likes to feel squeezed and compressed, so don’t even think about limiting yourself to this. What this will do is cause your muscle and joints to stiffen much faster, and you risk a higher chance of getting a muscle spasm, and an ache and pain by the time you do move freely.
2. Getting rid of what you don’t need.
STEP 1: Get rid of loose items. If there is paperwork, cups, pencils, and technology(like phones) around you, then its best you put it away and to the side. Too many things in the wrong place can actually cause you to stress out. And stressing out is linked to chronic lower back pain.
The last thing you want are your emotions triggering your response while on the job. Having loose work around you will also cause you to shuffle through it, and if you can’t find what you;re looking for it’ll aggravate you, and eventually your pain.
STEP 2: Put your phone away. I used to be horrible at this, I’d always have my phone right next to the side of my monitor screen or if I was driving a vehicle, working in construction or manufacturing while in my pocket, the problem always persisted. Think about it…
if I have my phone right next to my screen, I’ll likely be bending over to grab it. All it takes is one movement like so to onset your inflammation and therefore have pain. If my phone is in my pocket, its a step better, but that can also cause me to shuffle through my pocket in an unwanted scenario.
Scenario 1: In an office setting. If you’re working, and all of a sudden your phone starts to ring, your immediate reaction will be to grab it right? So how does that translate to pain?
You’ll twist, pull back, lean back and grab your phone out of your pocket. This sounds rather harmless, but imagine if you had constant inflammation, and even chronic inflammation, just one movement like so can trigger it. What I would is let your phone call or text go, and when you have your break, take the time to search through your phone.
Scenario 2: Driving a vehicle. Imagine if you were driving a large CDL truck or for the matter a forklift and you had to reach for your phone out of reaching distance.
What Suits Best for An Ergonomic Worskpace?
Other than clearing off cutter and creating more space for yourself, you have some awsome tools that you can utilize too.
This is most likely what you wanted to hear me talk about today, what office chair, what desktop you can use. And let me say, these are all factors, but don’t forget that you have to work on all the non physical solution beforehand, as i mentioned above.
What you have in your work space is totally reflected upon what type of workplace you’re in. Like lets say if you were a truck driver, you might not need a standing desk, as to where someone in an office setting will. Or Someone in construction will need a better hand held device as opposed to someone working in a warehouse.
Whichever the case, there’s an answer for them all. Here are some of the best ergonomic equipment you can use:
1. Standing Desk. A standing desk has become very popular the last few years for their posture factor. There are many people who can’t simply sit or can’t do it for a period, so a standing desk will become helpful. Here are some of the benefits of having a standing desk:
- Small calories burn. On average, you can expect to burn .15 calories per minute compared to sitting.
- Increased productivity. Whether you’re about to bust out a sales presentation, a personal budget, etc, a standing desk will make you more productive then actually sitting. A study showed that people in a call center who used a standing desk were 45% more productive then their colleagues who were sitting.
- Less back pain. If you’re standing and moving throughout the day a standing desk is proven to improve your back pain.
Is a Standing Desk for You?
Not everyone will benefit from using a standing desk, and they are not going to fix the underlying issue of someone with like a herniated disc or a bulging disc.
It can cause more cardiovascular problems actually. Most people who use a standing desk usually have a brain that is wired to make them rock backwards when making call or something similar. And if you can’t do so, its best that you opt for sitting down.
2. Office Chair. An office chair can make up for a lack of cushioning and posture. If your seat is too hard to sit on, and the backrest isn’t sturdy or keeping your back upright, then its likely time to choose a different one.
If you’re looking for a new office chair, make sure that it comes with a lumbar adjustment(both height and depth), this will help you adjust the inward curve of your lower back.
Your backrest of the chair needs to be between 12 inches and 19 inches wide. So the closer the chair is to you the better the snug, and the less tossing and moving you’ll be doing, which is what you want.
Having a good chair will help keep your muscles in balance. One of the largest reasons people have inflammation is because of one side of their bodies muscles are stronger than than the other.
3. Seat Cushion. This is my go to and most favorable option from the rest, and for great reasons that I’m about to let you in on. A seat cushion can actually replace the use of an office chair, and the use of a standing desk all together! Seriously, think about it…
You can spend thousands on an office chair to get a lesser experience than you would from a memory foam set cushion for less than a $100. Office chairs are durable but they are replaceable if one part of it breaks off, then there goes your expenses. As oppose to seat cushions, you can reuse them time after time without wear and tear. Plus they feel good on your bottom.
What I’ve come to realize about a seat cushion for my lumbar is that I can use them wherever and whenever. If I’m traveling to a conference, if I’m working from home, If I’m driving in my vehicle, I can have it with me at all times. The reason they are so effective are because:
- Improve your posture. A quality seat cushion will keep your posture in an upright position, and actually has been proven to help people who have Kyphosis(curvature of the spine) stretch it out straight again. And you know that with better posture translates to no inflammation.
- Be Comfortable. I can’t imagine anything more comfortable than sitting on a memory foam seat cushion and working for hours. When you mix the two components together, you get a recipe for duration. Imagine being able to be super productive, and not having to spend less time stretching or having to adjust because of this.
- Coccyx support. I used to have terrible pain in my tailbone area, and there was nothing that could give me the relief I needed, until a seat cushion came into the fold.
How To Find Relief at Work With an Unconventional Method
Doesn’t it feel like the cards are always stacked against you? It’s one thing for me to tell you to go out there and take this into action, but until you can actually draw a conclusion its really difficult to have motivation, that’s why I brought in the reinforcement.
While you’re using these ideas, in the meantime why not take a road-map with you? What I mean by this is why not shortcut your way to success?
I have put together a 5 step and 3 secret guide to help you come to your job more prepared, and to leave with a smooth and happy smile on your face.
This guide will help you from the second you wake up till the time you enter work, leave work, and everything thereafter. Isn’t it time you stopped guessing what works and you follow an experts advice?