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How Posture Impacts Your Work and How to Improve it

How Posture Impacts Your Work and How to Improve it

“Just sitting up straight, a simple power pose, may increase self-confidence.” European Journal of Social Psychology

Working at an office computer can lead to bad posture, which can cause issues like back pain, neck pain, and even present a loss of productivity at work.

There are many benefits to having good posture, besides just looking good. This blog will describe the benefits of good posture and how to achieve it.

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

3 Benefits of Better Posture:

The American Chiropractic Association says that 31 million Americans experience low back pain at a time. In fact, it’s also the leading cause of disability and one of the top reasons for missed work.

In addition to alleviating our neck and back pain, improving our posture also benefits our:

  1. Confidence
    When in the power pose—head up, shoulders back, chest forward—our bodies also release chemical hormones. The increase in testosterone boosts our confidence, while the decrease in cortisol lowers our stress levels. 

    On the other hand, bad posture gives our stress, depression, and fear levels a boost, so we’re better off without it
  2. Energy
    Sitting up, standing, or walking straight also increases our energy. This can, in turn, lead to more confidence, productivity, and better communication. 

    A little exercise break can wake us up and raise our energy levels too.
  3. Health
    Bad posture can impact our overall health and happiness. When we slouch, we squish our organs together. Sitting straight allows them to function at optimal levels. 

    It can also cause: headaches, digestive issues, difficulty sleeping, low confidence, and fatigue.

3 Ways to Correct Your Posture:

  1. Strengthen your body.
    You may need to strengthen your body before you can maintain good posture. Enroll in an exercise program like yoga or learn some simple exercises, like the chin tuck. To do the chin tuck, “move your chin towards your chest, holding for 5 seconds as you feel a comfortable stretch from your neck to the base of your skull. Repeat 10 times” according to Spine Universe.

    We’d also recommend watching a great exercise video, “Exercise at Your Desk” from the ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc
  2. Learn to sit or stand properly.
    CYH defines good posture as “always holding yourself in a way that puts the least strain on your back, whatever you are doing.” For example, instead of sitting at a stiff 90-degree angle, try 110-degrees. This will help relax your shoulders and improve spine comfort.

    If you have trouble discovering what your best posture is, there are also apps and devices that will warn you if your posture is inadequate.
  3. Take a break.
    Sitting at a desk all day isn’t healthy, so be sure to take breaks. Try microbreaks every 20 minutes or turn away from your screen and stretch before those aches and pains can set in.  Read our article: “Taking Breaks Makes You More Productive at Work” for more ideas on how and why to take breaks at work.

In conclusion

With these tips, you can put an end to your bad posture and improve your overall health and productivity. 

Share this information online or print it out and place it in the office to share with everyone. To keep up with the newest trends in office safety and the ergonomics industry subscribe to our blog.

These 5 workplace tips come courtesy of  Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants and work safety experts located in Washington State, Arcata,  California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

5 Reasons Your Whole Office Will Benefit From Office Yoga

5 Reasons Your Whole Office Will Benefit From Office Yoga

Looking to make a meaningful change to your employee’s lives? An office yoga program offers improved focus, reduced stress, and enhanced productivity in the workplace.

If you run a business in 2019, chances are good your office has some type of wellness program. These programs set employers apart in the eyes of job seekers while nurturing a company’s current workforce.

Office yoga is a natural fit for a wellness program. Almost 15% of Americans do yoga already. Bringing the practice to work is a great way to focus on employees’ health and foster community in the workplace.

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

These are not the only benefits an office can get from starting a corporate yoga program. There are many more. Read on as we highlight five of the most interesting benefits of doing yoga at work.

5 Benefits of Office Yoga:

1. Stress reduction improves work productivity.

Yoga has all sorts of stress-reducing effects.

It slows your breathing and makes it more deliberate. It stretches out your body, allowing for the release of endorphins. Anyone who has taken a yoga class can attest to the feeling of calm that immediately follows.

Lower stress makes better employees. Stressed employees make more mistakes in their work, miss more work due to illness, and account for greater employee turnover. Reduce your workplace’s stress, and you will foster an environment of positivity, focus, and collaboration.

2. Yoga improves posture.

Of all the physical benefits of workplace yoga, you might not think of posture first, but good posture at work is fundamental and even improves your success at work.

From a scientific perspective, humans should not sit as long as we do in our offices. Focusing on improved posture in our chairs helps us make the most of this less-than-ideal physical situation.

3. Do yoga. Digest better. Work easier.

That’s right, yoga helps you digest your food better.

Yoga detoxifies the body, which results in less heartburn and indigestion. These symptoms often mask deeper issues which can lead to time off work.

4. Your immune system benefits from yoga.

Yoga activates your immune and lymphatic systems, and its weight-bearing poses support strong bones. This means a more robust, less sickly workforce.

5. Yoga improves your confidence.

Yoga helps people get grounded in their bodies. It builds strength. And in doing these things, it gives people the confidence that comes from getting to know their bodies well.

When an office is full of confident, centered people, it shows in their work.

In conclusion.

These benefits of office yoga are only the beginning. A workplace yoga program has far-reaching effects, many of which are intangible.

Corporate yoga is a gentle, holistic practice that builds individual strength and fosters community. Yoga will not just give you healthier, happier workers, it will also show your employees that you care about them.

If you are not an office administrator or manager, we suggest contacting your office’s human resource department to see about adding office yoga to your workplace.

For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for ergonomics guidance. Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Arcata California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

3 Smart Ways to Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

3 Smart Ways to Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and Arcata, California)

Ergonomics Blog: 3 Smart Ways to Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

“66 percent of full-time employees to say they don’t strongly believe they have a work-life balance.” SmallBizTrends

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

In today’s workplace, dependence on technology and social media make it difficult to separate work from personal life. In fact, a 2018 report by SmallBizTrends reveals that of 38 countries, America comes in at 30th place for workers with a positive work-life-balance. 

Americans work long hours each day, take work home, come in on weekends, and devote little time to leisure and personal care. Though it’s become the norm, this lifestyle makes for burnt out, unhappy, demotivated employees.

At Solutions Northwest Inc, we are all about a healthy and happy workplace. Read on for three smart ways you can promote work-life balance in your workplace. 

1. Explore company health initiatives.

Everyone knows how important exercise and being healthy is, but does your workplace promote health initiatives?

Work places should help encourage healthy lifestyles by promoting and offering health initiatives. Whether it’s discounted gym memberships, a healthcare spending account, in-office yoga once a week, or sponsored sports teams – discover if your office provides these initiatives or do your best to get these programs started if you’re an administrator or manager.

One simple health tip is to stop bringing boxes of donuts or candies to the break room. Instead, consider bringing yogurts, chopped fruits, chopped veggies, and other healthy foods to snack on. If you must bring sweets to the office, consider making it a 1-day a week event instead of an everyday thing.

2. Make the most of your breaks.

Make sure that you or your co-workers make the most of breaktime. Instead of scrolling through Facebook at your desk, take a brisk walk around the building. Walking on break or even walking during a meeting can work wonders for brainstorming.

Breaks don’t need to be complicated, find simple ways to take breaks from work. Looking away from the monitor for a few moments is good for eyestrain, a short stretch can help combat office injury, and taking your lunchbreak out in the sun can benefit your health.

Don’t feel guilty taking breaks, breaks will help you do a better job in the long run. If you’re a supervisor or managing employees, be sure to let them take their breaks, so you have a rested, focused, and productive staff.

3. Invest in office safety.

Safe workers are happy workers. As studies from the University of Warwick have shown, “happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.”

Employees will appreciate the effort that a company invests into ensuring that they have a healthy, safe, and productive workplace. Consider performing or requesting an ergonomic assessment to discover the best way make your workplace safer for your employees.

As a bonus, an ergonomic and safe work place will lead to a more productive workplace. “Businesses report an average increase of 25% in productivity and a 67% reduction in errors after an ergonomic assessment” according to WSDLI.

Additionally, the added safety pays for itself, so don’t be afraid to invest in better equipment and better workstations. According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry, “on average an ergonomics assessment will pay for itself in about 8.4 months.”

In conclusion

Put these ideas into practice today to promote a positive work-life balance. Remember, the best programs won’t do any good if your employees don’t know about them, so make sure to regularly communicate with your staff or co-workers about these options. If you’re an employee, speak to your human resources or management/admin about how to make your workplace a more balanced and healthier workplace. When assessing your office workstation, something as simple as an ergonomic mouse could help with balance as well.

To keep up with the newest trends in office safety,  we recommend contacting SolutionsNW.com, a leader in the ergonomics and work safety field, for more information.

Subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Arcata, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

5 Easy Ways to Increase Productivity in Your Work

5 Easy Ways to Increase Productivity in Your Work

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and Arcata, California)


The average worker loses more than an hour a day just from simple distractions” ResearchGate.net

Everyone is looking for the secret to more productivity at work, but the answer could lie in some simple, subtle changes to your work routine.

Here are five ways to be more efficient in the workplace:

1. Take regular breaks and eat a healthy diet.

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Working longer hours doesn’t mean we will get more done. Taking regular breaks is important, it aids concentration and lifts the mood. 

Taking a five-minute walk or stepping away from the office for fifteen minutes will help you maintain a healthy perspective. You’ll return to your desk more energized and be able to focus more clearly.

Eating healthily boosts our brainpower and that impacts how productive we are in the office. We need the right fuel to ensure we perform at our peak.

2. Get plenty of exercise, even at work.

Exercise brings health benefits to our bodies and to our mental well-being. It can reduce stress and help us to concentrate better. It’s important to exercise regularly and make it part of your daily routine. 

Getting to the gym after work can be tough after a long hard day, but it is very beneficial. If the gym is a struggle, try fitting in something as simple as walking on your break or learn how to exercise at your desk. The ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc., have assembled 12 exercises you can do at your desk that strengthen your core, improve your posture while sitting, and provide enough strength to make it through a sedentary, office workday.

3. Group similar work tasks together.

Switching from one task to another wastes time and breaks your rhythm. It’s best to organize your work in groups of the same type. You can then set aside a block of time to finish each group all at once.

Arranging back to back meetings with colleagues in the afternoon is also a good idea. Once you’ve worked out your ‘to do’ list for the day, decide which tasks you could accomplish in two minutes or less and complete these straight away. 

4. Put your phone on silent.

Chatting or checking Facebook for personal reasons is one of the biggest workplace distractions. It can break your concentration and focus.  

Don’t be afraid to make yourself unavailable, most jobs don’t require instant response and that phone call or text is more than likely a distraction rather than work related.

It may help to choose a specific time of day that you are always available and let your associates know that this the best time to reach you, otherwise keep the phone silent while you work.

5. De-clutter your desk.

Having less stuff around can lower anxiety levels and in turn, increase work productivity. Having a desk or workstation that is well-organized helps us to think clearly.  Get a big trash bin that you can throw all old or unnecessary items in.

Getting rid of clutter will allow you to focus on the job and waste less time searching for important items or feeling trapped by distracting clutter.

In conclusion

Subtle changes can go a long way to increasing productivity in the office. Try doing just 1 thing from this list and notice how much it improves your productivity.

Share this information online or print it out and place it in the office to share with everyone. To keep up with the newest trends in office safety and the ergonomics industry subscribe to our blog.

These 5 workplace tips come courtesy of  Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants and work safety experts located in Washington State, Arcata,  California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

Ergo-Safety: 4 Ergonomic Items to Bring Peace of Mind to the Office

Ergo-Safety: 4 Ergonomic Items to Bring Peace of Mind to the Office

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

4 Ergonomic Items to Bring Peace of Mind to the Office

Sedentary lifestyle can explain, in part, how modernity is associated with obesity, more than 30 chronic diseases and conditions and high healthcare costs.” NCBI

Sitting and staring at a computer screen all day can be detrimental to your health and well-being, but what if your job requires it? Savvy office managers are beginning to implement ergonomic solutions to help employees not only be healthier, but also more productive.

Read on to discover 4 ergonomic office items that will keep your body healthy and your work day more productive.

1. Ergonomic Office Chair

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Long office hours hunched over the computer can lead to bad posture, back pain, and neck stiffness. Invest in an ergonomic chair specifically created with the human anatomy in mind.

Most ergo chairs come with a breathable mesh to allow your body to cool and you can adjust the armrest, headrest, seat tilt, and height.

2. Adjustable Monitor Stand

The adjustable monitor stand is a smaller and cheaper alternative to a standing desk. You don’t have to lift the entire desk – instead, you adjust the height of the computer monitor and sit or stand accordingly.

Monitor stands are great for laptops as well, because it’s harder to adjust laptop screens to your eye level without props.

3. Ergonomic Mouse and Mousepad

Your wrists are under a lot of pressure during the day as you handle the mouse and keyboard. After a while, you may start developing a carpal tunnel syndrome that will make your desk work even more painful.

An ergo mouse and a mousepad should be crucial parts of your ergonomic office, especially if you spend more than four hours a day in front of a screen. Consider a vertical mouse or split keyboard.

4. Ergonomic Footrest

Spending hours at your desk with your legs hanging down can lead to poor blood circulation, varicose veins, and weakened leg muscles.

An ergonomic footrest is a simple, affordable solution to this problem that will keep your legs elevated to prevent swelling and knee pain. Plus, it will make your desk work more comfortable.

In conclusion

Working at a desk for eight hours a day can take a toll on your health, especially your back, neck, and knees. More companies have been investing in their workers by replacing their outdated office furniture with ergonomic office equipment and performing ergonomic assessments as needed.

To keep up with the newest trends in the ergonomics industry and discover new ergo office products,  we recommend contacting SolutionsNW.com, a leader in the ergonomics field, for more information.

Subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland. 

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