I spent a number of years working as a Social Worker, and as rewarding of a career as that is, it is also a stressful job. The fact is most jobs are pretty stressful at one point or another, right? The point I want to make about my former Social Work days is that I spent the majority of my time sitting behind my desk in a sea of cubicles. If you have a desk job, I’m certain you know how uninviting that a cubicle or office can be, and when our workspace is uninviting, it can create undue stress in our lives.
So the following are some easy steps that you can take right now to improve your workspace, whether it is an office, a cubicle, a desk in the broom closet, or whatever your case may be:
-1. Get Organized: This is an easy step to take, but most of us can get pretty overwhelmed with work, and we begin to neglect the organization of things on our desk. When you are unorganized, it is extremely easy to misplace papers, documents, supplies, your car keys, etc. When this happens and we scramble to find these things, it causes anxiety and stress. So, use those file cabinets and buy some cheap desk organizing items like pen holders, trays for paper clips, sticky-notes, and other supplies that you use regularly. You can buy these items for next to nothing at your local Dollar Store.
-2. Get a Lumbar Support for Your Chair: Let’s face it, when sitting for hours behind a computer, most of us slouch down and have terrible posture. In fact, there is much more weight bearing down on your spine when sitting verses standing. We do not always have a choice other than sit to work on things required by our jobs, but we can improve our work station ergonomics. The first and easiest thing to do is grab a lumbar support to place behind your back on your chair while you sit. This greatly helps to improve your posture while sitting, and therefore helps to counteract some of the weight bearing down on the low back while in a seated position. Here’s an Amazon link to an inexpensive one with good reviews. I have never used this one, so I am not recommending this model over others, just giving you a general idea of what to look for: https://www.amazon.com/Ziraki-Memory-Foam-Lumbar-Cushion/dp/B01HXSYG6A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1489524195&sr=8-3&keywords=lumbar+support
-3. Decorate: I cannot tell you how many people I worked with over the years that simply have nothing personal in their workspace. Hang a few pictures of your family, maybe some artwork your kids or nieces and nephews made for you, some motivational quotes, and anything else that reminds you of why you are doing what you are doing. I always keep an exercise calendar in my office just to remind me of when my workouts are, how long, and the type of workout I am doing that day. Surround yourself with things that will motivate you and give you a sense of personal belonging to your workspace.
-4. Raise Your Computer to Eye Level: Very few people do this, but trust me it is so important that you do. When our computer screen is below eye level when sitting, it forces us to look down with our heads. What this does over time is destroy the natural curve in our necks. Once the curve has straightened in our necks, we increase the rate of spinal degeneration which sets the stage for pain and neurological dysfunction. You can either lower your chair, or sit on an exercise ball to help achieve this as well. Otherwise, place your computer screen on a few thick books, or if you have a laptop, consider getting a standing desk or one that allows you to set up your computer at a higher level than the standard desk.
-5. Get a Himalayan Salt Lamp for Your Desk: There is a lot of information out there regarding the proposed benefits of these salt lamps including helping to create an ionic balance around you, improving air quality, improving mood, and reducing allergies. These guys give off a nice pleasant glow, which alone helps to improve mood. Make certain the lamp you buy is a true salt lamp and not a fake one. Here is some additional information on salt lamps: https://draxe.com/himalayan-salt-lamp/
Part of living a Wellness Based Lifestyle is making certain to improve your health and to reduce the negative stress in all areas of your life, which definitely includes work. So give these 5 easy steps a shot and do what you can to make your workspace a little less stressful, and a lot more inviting!
In Wellness and Love,
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.