Okay so I'm obviously not talking beauty make up or a Dermalogica moisturiser for your dehydrated leather chair ( now I'm distracted...) No I'm talking about your office or home work space and desk.
Because it is one of the top reasons behind the hard work I put in daily to release the tension in my clients backs, necks, shoulders, scalp and even hand and arms!!
Your postures health is one of the best life investments you need to make. From bone structure and density, muscle strength, flexibility and support, internal organ function and nerve supply. Your whole health can be effected by the choices you put your posture in.
So what can you do to help a healthy posture?
You will straight away relate to exercise. This is extremely helpful for muscle strength and flexibility. A mixture of exercise types is best to take advantage of its results. Cardio such as running is good for your circulation, weights for muscle strength and yoga for flexibility and core strength/balance.
Massage is perfect when you feel tension, pain and sluggishness. It can help bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and joints. Regular sessions once a month are best for long term maintenance.
But if you do not recognise your daily posture such as sitting at a desk, your health concerns will keep re occurring.
Ensuring your work space is suitable for you has more to it than a comfortable chair. Consider these:
Your chair should be supportive of your lower back and upper back , have arm rests, an adjustable height and swivel.
The ratio of your chair to desk height should be correct to your height. ( See image for a guide as for a correct ratio set up).
Your mouse or pen using hand needs support on the desk. Consider a cushioning mat. Using the chairs arm rest ensures the shoulder doesn't stay held in a fixed forward position for hours on end.
Be aware you are not resting on your mid forearms when typing nor are they positioned too high to the keyboard height.
Your screen monitor should be eye height. This will balance your head correctly on the spine rather than having its weight pulling your head forward. Laptops are a favourite choice but by far they are the worst for neck cranking so ensure the screen is tilted and use your eyes to look down not your neck.
Adjusting your desk is a vital element in a work place whether that be an office environment or if you work from home. Those that work from home find that this hasn't been addressed as soon as it should have.
Aside your working position having a healthy environment to work within will make your wok more productive, calmer and more motivating. Here are some more ideas to ensure you can maximise your work space:
- Ensure you have good but indirect lighting. Natural lighting is a definite must.
- Adjust your screens monitors brightness levels according to the time of day, this will avoid eye strain and keep your brain in appropriate time of day.
- Focus on something other than the screen, whether that be looking out the window or even having a moment to close your eyes and take a deep breathe. You will find it will help you focus and concentrate.
- Ensure there is fresh air circulating. Ensure you take a walk in your break, being out side will give you a real lift.
- Try aromatherapy diffusers rather than air fresheners and perfumed candles or gel pods. The aromatherapy essential oil you choose can help enhance or relax your mind. Essential oils must be of a high quality, they enter the body's blood stream via the respiratory airways and have a desired effect.
'Good morning' oil by Eve Taylor is extremely uplifting to help
you start your day, whilst the 'Winter' blend works well to purify the air and groups of people in a space. @Inspiration ' dies just that. There are a wide range of products I offer from Eve Taylor including these blends, diffuser machines and candles.
- Access to water is always available for hydration and concentration levels. Do not be afraid of drinking lots and needing more bathroom pit stops, the extra moving around is better for you.
- Plants. All work spaces need a plant/s. They not only filter the air for you they provide a healthy and natural stimulus on your mood.
- Frequently stretch and move around. Rotating your ankles and wrists. Stretching legs and arms, moving the shoulders and neck. There are plenty of videos you can find on yoga poses for desk workers, and even chair exercises that can be performed frequently at your desk.
I stock Blasta products, these are natural English made wheat bags that can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the freezer for a body compress, or eye pillow sizes are available. They come in different colours with a removable cover for washing, plus individual stitched sections for an even bean distribution. The body packs are excellent for covering the whole back, or wrapping round the lumbar region, shoulders, legs, ankles, wrists or any joint for that matter! The eye pillow is a gorgeous escape and rest for the eyes. Especially if you suffer with eye strain.
- Give your eyes some t.l.c. The eyes are one of the hardest working and the first area of the face to show lines and wrinkles. Frown lines and crows feet are common from squinting. Ensure you use a special eye product for the skin around the eyes is very thin and needs a delicate cream to hydrated and protect it. A face moisturiser will contribute to common eye puffiness. Try Dermalogicas 'Stress positive eye lift' It has a metal tipped applicator which is fantastic for cooling and reducing puffiness around the eyes, you can use it for pressure point massage too. There are other fantastic eye products by Dermalogica to suit a range of eye concerns and preferences so be in touch to consult which is best suitable for you.
- Consider experiencing some of my workshops to experience and learn hands on how you can do more for your home self care. The facial exercise class covers stretches for the face and neck and pressure points to reduce eye strain, sinus pressures and lock jaw. These are available in person and distant via a skype or zoom call. You could gather friends and host a night of social interaction in the comfort of your own homes. Visit my website for more details.
All of the images used in this blog were sent to me from my clients to look at their work space set ups, they all work from home either temporarily or frequently. ( You may be able to tell which is which). What could they change about their work spaces?