Does your desk make you sick?

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Take a look at your desk. It may be making you sick!

Research shows what we’ve known for years: combining long hours, poor posture and clutter can make you sick.

Some call it Irritable Desk Syndrome. And its causes are poor posture, a cluttered desk and long working hours.

Unchecked, the problem leads to chronic pain, loss of productivity and reduced job prospects.

Healthy desk, healthy you

  • Review the way your desk is set up and look for ways to reduce stress and neck strain.
  • Do some stretching exercises to reduce slouching.
  • Take breaks from your desk to give yourself a change of scenery.
  • Check your posture: monitor the way you sit to reduce the tendency to slouch at your desk.
  • Personalise your desk, which will remind yourself that there’s life outside this square of wood.
  • Stay hydrated and cool.
  • Keep your desk clean and tidy. If you tend to eat at your desk, make it a point to disinfect and wipe down your surfaces at least once a week.

There are other ways to reduce strain as well. One of the major sources of stress is the inability to get things done. Few things feel as empowering as being able to get all your stuff done so you can go home. Try these proven ways to boost your productivity:

  • Face your chair away from the door. This will discourage people from dropping by to make small talk when you’re trying to work.
  • Close your door. When you really need to finish off a report, block out all distractions. You could even unplug your phone for a while.
  • Stare at the horizon. If you spend your days focused on your monitor at work and your TV screen at home, you’re depriving your eyes and the muscles that control their focus, of the opportunity to focus on infinity. Stare on the furthest thing you can see for a few times a day.
  • Chuck things away. Don’t habitually stash paperwork. Go through everything on your desk and file it, pass it on or bin it. Start each day with a clean desk and a clean coffee mug.


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