Eight ways you can improve your productivity by sitting comfortably

Are you sitting comfortably at work? Find out why posture is related to productivity – and how you can improve both with eight simple adjustments. 

When you’re running a business your posture is probably the last thing on your mind. However, ignoring your body can ultimately affect not only your health, but your performance and ability to support your clients well and consistently.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Working from home can often mean you are working intensively and in isolation. And as a result you could be staring at the screen on your laptop or PC for many hours with your hands continually placed on the keyboard or mouse. This position, as well as poor workstation design, can lead to musculoskeletal injuries.

If you find yourself sitting in one position for a long period, once you do start to move you may notice that your muscles, especially in your shoulders, neck and back have begun to tighten. You may even have the onset of a headache, and possibly pain and tingling in your fingers and wrists.

Eight ways you can improve your posture (and productivity)

To avoid these symptoms, which can actually be a sign of an early injury, follow these simple tips to help maintain your wellbeing and boost your productivity.

1) Avoid slouching

Make sure you’re sitting upright, with your feet flat on the floor, shoulders back and position your keyboard so that your arms are parallel with the floor. If your feet are not flat on the floor use a footrest. Using an adjustable chair on castors is far better than using a standard chair with legs.

Keep your head balanced; if you start to lean over your keyboard with your head and neck forward this is likely to cause neck and shoulder pain. If you’re a laptop user, consider creating your own ergonomic laptop kit by using a separate keyboard and then raising the screen to eye level.

2) Change your activity often

Take regular breaks or changes of activity, preferably five or ten minutes every hour or so. Make a drink or walk the dog and introduce some muscle stretching and refocus the eyes around the room.

3) Listen to your body regularly

When you’re working intensively, think about how you’re sitting and fix any posture mistakes. Do your muscles feel tense and tight? Are there any signs of pain or discomfort? If so, take a break and move around.

4) Invest in a mouse

If you’re using a laptop invest in a separate mouse to avoid the small repetitive movements which occur when using the laptop mouse pad. Keep the mouse close to your body to prevent overstretching your arm and shoulder, and keep your muscles in a relaxed position.

5) Don’t cradle the phone

If you use your phone regularly consider introducing a headset for added comfort. And avoid placing the phone between your neck and shoulder whilst note taking which can lead to neck and shoulder pain.

6) Invest in a good laptop bag

If you travel on business with your laptop invest in a good laptop bag, ideally a rucksack style so that the weight is evenly balanced across your back.

7) Check your desk set-up

Ensure you always use your laptop on a desk or table. Regularly sitting on a sofa while typing will encourage slouching and the onset of aches and pains. If you spend long periods copy typing, then invest in a document holder which can be positioned next to your screen to avoid excessive neck movements. Remove clutter and keep cables tidy.

8) Make your environment comfortable

Make your environment as comfortable as possible. Keep the temperature at a constant level and use as much natural light as possible. If required, introduce task lighting using a desk lamp.

Prevention is better than cure

Use these eight tips to ensure that working from home benefits you by creating a comfortable workstation design and a productive working routine. Remember prevention is better than cure!

Caroline Graham from CG Safety is a Chartered Health and Safety Consultant based in West Sussex, who is passionate about making sure people remain safe and well whilst at work.

She’s offers support to small and medium sized businesses, helping them to avoid possible fines and compensation claims. Caroline can also support business owners looking to improve their workstation set-up to ensure optimum comfort and wellbeing.

Photo by mari lezhava