Welcome to the final part of our first monthly theme – this January, we’re Getting Off To A Good Start!

Read the first post of our new February theme next Wednesday

In the spirit of getting off to a good start, we thought we would set ourselves a big target for 2018 – we’ll continue sharing the products we’re planning to use, and how we’re getting along with it!

Did you know that 34 million working days were lost last year due to musculoskeletal problems – including back and neck pain? With a huge amount of the UK workforce spending a lot of their day sitting down, it’s not hard to see how problems can start.

Here in the Office Needs marketing department, we’ve both arrived from previous jobs with some pretty bad posture issues! So we’re planning to spend 2018 seeing how we can improve our postures and avoid future problems.

We’ll be reporting back each month on what we’ve been using, and how we’re finding it.

To get started, we’d better take a deep breath and find out how bad the issue is…

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Posture Test

Firstly, we need to test how we’re doing. This will help us to identify the issues we’re having, and also help us measure our progress throughout the year!

We’ve found some useful tips for posture tests online, starting with this easy one courtesy of the Mayo Clinic:

  • To test your standing posture, take the wall test. Stand with your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching a wall, and have your heels about 2 to 4 inches (about 5 to 10 centimeters) away from the wall. Reach back and slide your hand behind the curve in your lower back, with your palm flat against the wall.
  • Ideally, you’ll feel about one hand’s thickness of space between your back and the wall. If there’s too much space, tighten your abdominal muscles to flatten the curve in your back. If there’s too little space, arch your back so that your hand fits comfortably behind you. Walk away from the wall while maintaining this posture. Keep it up throughout your daily activities.

Honestly, this test didn’t show great results for either of us when we first stood against the wall. Clearly we have work to do!


So what are we going to do about it?

The first thing we’re going to try is a simple but hopefully effective combination:

1. The right chair

We’re both trying out these rather brilliant Jumbo chairs that are known for being an excellent ergonomic choice for the price.

Our first impressions are that these are comfortable right out of the box, but we wanted to make sure we got the absolute most out of the chair’s useful adjustment features. Luckily, we had our specially trained sales staff on hand for some tips!

We then followed the Mayo Clinic’s advice on how to sit properly on our chairs:

  • Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees. Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
  • If the chair doesn’t support your lower back’s curve, place a rolled towel or small pillow behind your lower back.
  • Stretch the top of your head toward the ceiling, and tuck your chin in slightly.
  • Keep your upper back and neck comfortably straight.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed — not elevated, rounded or pulled backward.

So now we’ve got our seat height set correctly, our armrests adjusted, lumbar support at the right amount and feet now resting nicely as they should on the floor. So far, very happy with this choice of chair. We’ve therefore persuaded our boss to put a nice discount on these chairs, as we’d definitely recommend you try them out for yourself!

2. The right screen position

The chair can’t work its magic properly if our necks are constantly in the wrong position! So second priority was getting some monitor risers sorted out to fine-tune our screen’s height.

Between us, we’re trying out a fixed-height platform (for Becki) and an adjustable riser (for Andy). We’ll report back on how we’re finding these soon!

We’ve got loads of options for monitor stands and risers – so whether you’ve got fixed desks, hot desks, laptops or even multiple screens, there are no excuses for not getting this one right!

Now we just need to give it time… we’re aware that it’s common in the short term to experience a sore back, neck and sometimes limbs when you finally start sitting properly in the workplace – because your muscles aren’t used to working properly! So we’re excited to see what happens by next month, when we’ve had time to get used to our new, better postures.

Need help choosing the right setup?

When it comes to ergonomics, the products on our online store are just the tip of the iceberg – we can fit you with anything from the perfect monitor arm to a full sit-stand desk setup.

Luckily, we’ve also got team members trained in Display Screen Ergonomics to help you navigate our selection! Why not contact us today and we can book a time to talk you through all the great options we have to offer?

Get in touch

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We’ll get back to you soon on how we’re doing…

We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled in the mean time for more tips and tricks to help us achieve our posture goals. If you find any good ones – send them our way!

Join us next week for Part 1 of ‘Be Better at the Basics’!

If you’ve got thoughts on what you’d like us to cover next, why not get in touch with us on social media? We’d love to hear from you!

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Want to be more productive throughout 2018?

Keep up with this blog for tips, tricks and great products to help you!