Business of Posture & Place

By- Mr. Praveen Rawal
Managing Director, India and Southeast Asia

 

It’s incredible to consider that the first iPhone was introduced in 2007, a little more than 10 years ago. Social media websites like Facebook took the world by storm in the year 2008, and Instagram was launched in 2010. It has been a unique 10-year journey which changed the way we work and interact today, whether it’s how we access our emails or contact our colleagues. And looks like the next 10 year too will be equally awe-inspiring with technology as the single greatest force driving the changes in the way we work, live and behave. But the important question is, how we will prepare for the impact of these technologies on the human body, especially at a workspace where people spend more than half of their day interacting with various devices.

 

Ever since the 1980s, the demands of working on a computer set increased drastically, and ergonomic researchers focused on gaining a deep understanding of the biomechanics of sitting, so solutions could be invented that contribute to a healthier day at work. More than 30 years later, office furniture have evolved from simple sitting devices to ergonomic tools that adjust to fit the size and shape of people’s bodies and their work processes. Because many office workers spend up to 80% of their day sitting resulting in body stresses and strains that affect productivity and health. Hence, employee well-being has become a focus of study and scrutiny. Some say sitting is the new smoking, but it’s not sitting that’s hurting you, it’s how you’re doing it. The bottom line is, it’s positive for your physical wellbeing to get out of your desk chair at frequent intervals throughout the day. It’s true that a brisk walk outside or a little jog can boost your physical wellbeing. But, if you don’t have time to sweat, shower and get back to the office, just getting outside for a few minutes can improve your cognitive wellbeing. Research shows us nature has the ability to help us refocus, reset and lessen stress. So, take a meeting outside or instead of sitting in a small conference room with a colleague, consider taking a few laps around the parking lot while you talk.

 

But it is still important to address the stress that builds up internally in the workspace. A truly ergonomic office chair must simultaneously support the body and provide unrestricted natural movement. This reality has become even more important because of the profound changes now occurring in how people work and the tools they use. Instead of spending most of the workday in one chair at one desk using one computer to do one-person work, many people now shift rapidly between individuals, devices, focused tasks and collaboration with others. Instead of working in cubicles, they are often in open-plan or team settings, turning frequently to engage with others or see information on whiteboards, monitors and walls. The latest research done by Steelcase confirms that sitting smartly when combined with standing and walking options, can have a big impact on worker wellness and productivity.

 

Today, so many productivity experts often focus on the latest apps and hack to help people get more done, they forget to address the most basic element: posture. Keeping your body in an improper alignment could turn bad in the end. Therefore, companies need to embrace this philosophy to allow workers to change positions, stay engaged and stay well.

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