01 Feb Diet, Fitness and Ergonomics? What’s the Connection?
We’ve all been there. Work piles up, so you pull another late night which means a good night’s sleep goes out the window. After hitting the snooze button enough times, you drag yourself out of bed, realize it’s late, hop in the shower, get dressed, gulp down a cup of coffee and instead of making that healthy lunch you were going to bring to work, you grab your stuff and head out the door.
By the time lunch rolls around, you are starving and stop by the nearest fast food joint to quiet your rumbling tummy and skip the walk that you were going to take on your lunch break. Now you get back to your desk feeling pretty sluggish (french fries and a bacon cheeseburger will do that!) and the idea of sitting up in a balanced posture with a neutral pelvis is a distant memory as you slump in your chair to rest your head in your chin (not something that makes your back too happy). By mid-afternoon, the vending machine beckons and it’s “just one” little candy bar and “just one” more cup of Joe which of course you’ll curse yourself later that night when your eyes are wide open at 2am. And so the cycle continues.
When I see someone sitting slumped in their chair, or with their head in chin, low riding, whatever form their questionable posture takes, I go through a list of questions in my head.
“Is there something wrong with the way the chair is set up?”
“Are their muscles out of balance which makes sitting up difficult or uncomfortable (since their muscles have adapted to an out of balance posture)
“Are they tired?”
“Did they just eat a terribly heavy meal? Or is their diet zapping them of energy?”
Whatever the answer is, it supports something I know to be true. Focusing on ergonomics and ergonomics alone is not sufficient to keep you feeling good at work. Sure, it can help stave off and get rid of aches and pains, but you are a whole person. And that means that wellness is multi-faceted. It means that all the cylinders in your wellness engine have to be up and running in order to be healthy, energized, productive and stress free.
- Are you sleeping enough? (7 – 8 hours is the recommended amount)
- Are you eating well? (balanced, nutritious and calorie friendly meals and snacks)
- Do you drink enough water?
- Do you exercise? (3 – 4 times a week at a minimum)
- Do you stretch during your work day? (at least 2 – 3 X per day)
- Do you take breaks? (macro and micro breaks)
- Is your workstation set up so that you are comfortable (really comfortable) when you work?
- Do you defeat your good set up with poor habits?
- Do you manage your time well to avoid work pile-ups, late nights and skipped meals and exercise times?
- Do you take enough downtime to balance out your work-life and personal life?
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