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For young twenty-somethings working in tech, it’s easy to assume that your body is resilient and can handle anything you throw at it—after all, you’re young, and aches and pains are for old people, right? But while most of us can readily acknowledge that a diet of Fritos and Mountain Dew isn’t keeping us in the best of health (and our waistlines will readily attest to that), bad ergonomics still seem to fly under the radar in terms of important life optimizations.
Back pain is among the most common medical complaints seen by primary care physicians. The problem is that such pains are often insidious in onset, which means that the damage has built up over time, and has only just now reached a breaking point. Therefore, no matter how far away your forties, fifties, and sixties may seem, the time is now to make ergonomic changes.
While some might think that you need to invest in wonky looking setups that are labeled as “ergonomic” (such as this crazy, reclining desk that’s currently in the works), it’s actually a whole lot easier to get your body into a proper alignment. The easiest thing you can do is just purchase a high-quality desk and chair that allow you to keep your monitor(s) at eye level and your keyboard at a comfortable height. If you choose to spring for fancier options like an Aeron chair from Herman Miller, you may even notice the added benefits of built-in lumbar support and a design that avoids creating localized pressure points.
Reap the Benefits
Not only will you see health benefits for years to come, you’ll also be more productive in the office right away. A well-optimized setup means you’ll stay fresher for longer, need fewer breaks to stretch your legs to relax your wrists, and be able to power through tasks faster will less wasted motion. This is great because it means that your investment won’t just produce intangible results, it could even benefit your business’s bottom line!
Ergonomics isn’t just about lining up your chair height just so; the same principles apply to benefiting your entire body. Try purchasing a larger monitor, not just for the higher resolution but also so you can place it a bit further away without squinting. This will reduce eye strain, which (again) can help with fatigue. A small box or footrest under your desk can also help your knees and thighs by preventing you from “locking out” and also boosting circulation.
Implementing these tips aren’t hard—all you need is some direction and the motivation for self-improvement. You’ve poured so much effort into making your business a success; why not spare a little effort on yourself, too?
Already an accomplished graduate student and a published scientific author, Neel enjoys writing on a wide range on topics for pleasure.