The ache bites through each and every nerve and fibre of your body. Your joints creak louder than old floorboards, and your back… Well, your colleagues think of Atlas, with the way you writhe your way back to your desk.
It may not look like it, but the construct of where you work can wreak havoc in your body. Chances are, it already is. Here are some tips and tricks that won’t break the bank (and your back).
For your back
Don’t want to make a huge fuss by changing your entire office cubicle? Just give your chair a simple and easy upgrade.
Hack It: Roll a towel to desired thickness and place it against the small of your back.
Invest In: The Obusforme Lowback Backrest Support (S$75) is a removable and adjustable lumbar that ease pain caused by fatigue, tension and spinal disc problems. It encourages better posture by reducing strain and energy demand on your sore muscles. Your back will thank you for it.
For your wrists… Or not?
If you think wrist rests are for your wrists, you're wrong. It turns out that resting your wrists on any kind of support can actually add more pressure to the underside of your wrist, reducing blood circulation and risking long-term injuries. Who knew?
Hack It!: Line the bottom edge of your keyboard with sponges wrapped in a towel and rest your palms on them.
Invest In: The Ergo Arm Adjustable Armrest (S$71) that supports you all the way up to your forearm, minimising aches and pains from your wrist and arm, all the way to your neck and shoulders. Hinge the padded arm rest and built-in mousepad anywhere on the edge of your table, then adjust the flexible pivots to suit your comfort.
For your eyes
You might not notice it, but the wrong kind of light at the wrong time can negatively affect you and your body. Jarring white light from your screen strains your eyes, cause headaches and makes it difficult to focus.
Hack It!: F.lux, a free downloadable program, makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, allowing you to sleep better at night and work for longer during the day. Just try F.lux for a week and turn it off after – you’ll see the difference.
Invest In: Silk Lights (from S$35), a smart LED lightbulb that automatically adjusts its colour temperature according to the time of the day, so you can light tailored to your internal biological clock. It’s quick and easy to set up, fitting into a typical E27 socket. It comes with a remote control-like mobile app for you lazy bums.
For serial typists
Don’t go to your keyboard; bring it to you. You should be able to type comfortably with your back straight against your backrest instead of slouching over your keyboard.
Hack It!: Raise your keyboard to minimise extending your elbows and wrists by using binder clips as keyboard feet, or propping it at a reclining angle with anything you can find.
Invest In: A keyboard tray can improve your posture, leaving your arms as relaxed as possible by your sides and angled downwards. This all-in-one platform (S$140) is sturdy for minimal bouncing when typing, and comes with adjustable knobs that controls both height and tilt.