Thank you to Denise Zangoglia of TheHomeOfficeCafe.com for this guest post about the benefits of yoga and the importance of ergonomically correct tools to keep us healthy as we toil away at our computers!
Working from home yields wonderful benefits such as a flexible schedule and working at your own pace. But there are a number of “side effects” that can really take a toll on anyone working at a home based business. Number one among these is lack of productivity. Ah yes we all have great thoughts and picture vividly a wildly successful home based business where we work for only a few hours a day with the rest of our time spent enjoying friends, family, hobbies and pursuing our interests. But the reality is it is hard to work at home.
A huge factor that stands in the way of getting as much done as we intend is the stress we place on our mind and body, sitting for long periods of time. Some of the hazards of long hours in a stationary position are: carpel tunnel syndrome, neck strain, back pain, stress, eye strain and weight gain. This is especially true for those whose work require them to sit at a desk in front of a computer for long hours. But there are two “natural” factors that can drastically improve your comfort and relieve stress and strain leading to a happier healthier more productive home office life.
Think Yoga …
While yoga has become quite popular many people may not realize how easy it is to incorporate these movements into their schedule and within minutes feel the benefits of reduced stress and strain and a greater sense of calm. You don’t have to be especially flexible nor an expert in yoga to reap the benefits. Simple stretches and movements can be done either sitting at your desk or standing. Look for visual as well as written instructions to be sure you are performing the movement correctly. Only stretch as much as comfortable. Your flexibility will increase with practice.
Although yoga is for everyone, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any new physical activity if you have any medical conditions.
Here are a few movements to consider:
Twists are good for your neck, your lower back, your upper back and to release overall tension.
Forward bends bring flood flow to the head and in doing so refresh and re-energize you. Bends relax and lengthen your back muscles.
Eye movements reduce eyestrain. Relax your face and open your eyes wide. Move your gaze from the stationary position of staring at a computer where the eyes tend to become dry from lack of blinking. Your eyes will re-lubricate and soften.
Wrist, finger and arm stretches reduce tension, increase flexibility and increase blood flow to the extremities.
Take a breathing break. The breath is at the core of yoga. By taking several deep breaths you will instantly feel calmer, more focused and relaxed. Don’t rush this simple exercise. This relaxation solution is literally right under your nose! I think of these movements as mini meditations. Simple and effective, with immediate results.
While often overlooked as an essential investment in a home office, ergonomically correct chairs are one of the most valuable tools for increased comfort, stress relief and improved productivity.
Ergo chairs reduce the stress and strain of muscles by supporting the lower back and reducing pressure on the lower portion on the body as well as promoting good posture.
Ergonomics is about design that benefits the needs of human physiology. Here are some tips to choosing the right chair for you:
- Functionally for your needs, consider controls, frame construction, adjustability, swivel, casters, back height, tilt function, arms or armless, headrest for taller users.
- Consider quality craftsmanship- strong, durable frames, high-density foam core cushioning, choice of seating material, mesh for breathability, leather for luxury, and be aware of the warranty offered. There are many eco friendly ergonomic chairs that are made from recycled materials or manufactured at eco friendly plants and that can be recycled after use.
By incorporating these two powerful tools, yoga and ergonomic chair design, into your home office life you can relieve stress, reduce fatigue increase focus, productivity, energy, and improve decision making with long lasting benefits.
You’ll reap the rewards of reducing tension in your body and mind as well as increasing overall well being and work performance, which will extend into all other areas of your life.
About the Author
Denise Zangoglia, a home-office professional since 1999 created her website TheHomeOfficeCafe.com to support work-at-home professionals and entrepreneurs. She offers tips and resources for optimizing your own home work experience. Denise is an expert in office setup/design, and in maximizing productivity as well as home-based business resources such as offsite backup services, website creation and marketing strategies.