RWL197: Goodbye Back Pain Embracing an Ergonomic Workday

Battling back pain and slouching over a computer used to be my daily grind until a surprisingly simple piece of tech came into my life. Now, I’m spilling the secrets of how this simple tool has drastically reshaped my work days from a sedentary slog to dynamic productivity and well-being. There are no special guests on this episode, just me, my journey, and an invitation to join the conversation on how we can all rise up (quite literally!) to the challenge of crafting a more ergonomic workspace. 

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Speaker 1:

Hello, it's Alex from Remarkable Clife. I hope you're well, wherever you may be in the world, and in this series of episodes, normally published on Tuesdays, I talk you through some of the tech and some of the sort of equipment that I've used that has helped to improve my ability my ability, I guess, to work from home. And it's some of this tech and some of this equipment is necessary for your own physical well-being. And if you're like me, I've had problems with my lower back for a number of years, and partly that's due to my own sort of yeah, masochistic tendencies no, no, no, just joking, that's my own sort of faults in terms of me not necessarily exercising as often as I should but also partly due to some of the equipment that I chose, definitely in the early days of working from home, because when you're working from home, I guess the tendency is just to when you start working from home, that is anyway, your tendency is just to sort of use the equipment that's available, readily available, that particular point in time, and that's not the best way to go. So today I want to talk about something that has really helped my, my back, and not just my back in terms of the actual physical pain, but also from a more holistic standpoint, and my is actually helped my productivity. All in all, while I'm talking about I'm talking about desk risers Now a desk right if you're working from home. It's become the norm actually. I mean, it's for me it's the way to work, and not just working from home, but working from whatever location you may be in. So location independence and work is something that is definitely on the rise and, according to a recent survey conducted by Upwork, approximately 3.6 336.2 million Americans are currently working remotely. That's probably a bit less now, but that was a survey conducted by Upwork and I think that number, although perhaps has declined in recent times, I think that number will only grow over the years as more and more companies have to adapt to that way of working and have to sort of acclimatize to the way things are. I think as well listen to the preferences of different people and the way in which they want to work. So that number is set to continue.

Speaker 1:

But one common issue faced by remote workers is especially I think, myself being one of those things is extended periods of sitting at a desk, because there aren't any natural prompts for you to sort of get up and have a, you know, have your lunch, or get up and sort of go and chat to your friends in by the water cooler, et cetera, and I personally had the tendency just to sit down for quite long, extended periods of time and that, as I said was applied in applying before, led to various health problems. For me it was a bad back, it was poor posture and that did increase my sorry, decrease my productivity. But the desk riser, for me, was a solution that essentially changed my way of working and it definitely up to my productivity. Now, a desk riser, it's an adjustable platform that can be placed on top of your existing desk and this platform allows you to, in some cases, effortlessly switch between sitting and standing. Not all desk risers are made the same, so if you're looking for a desk riser, then do your research. But it's something that really has changed the way that I've worked and yet you can switch pretty easily between sitting and standing. It may initially seem like a luxury item, but I think it definitely has benefits, and for me as well it probably was at one point. But then I realized my back was telling me that I needed to get it and I needed to invest the money in it for my home office setup, and these pieces of equipment are not just for home offices, for any office, in fact. If you're finding yourself sitting for any extended period of time and a desk riser, it's something that you should ask for and you should invest in. So I just want to talk to you about some of the improvements so that there's a few key benefits of incorporating a desk riser into your work routine. So let's explore these a little bit more.

Speaker 1:

So, as I was alluding to before improved posture, so sitting for long hours can lead to poor posture. It did for me. It led to back pain for me as well. As I said, I've got some physiological issues with my back, which were exacerbated by my poor posture. So, although my back was uncomfortable for certain periods of time, even without sitting down, I made it worse just by adopting a poor posture. However, the desk riser gave me the flexibility to adjust the height of my workstation according to my particular preference. I'm quite tall and the particular desk riser I have although I'm not recommending any in this podcast allowed me to find the perfect ergonomic position that supported a proper spinal alignment. One thing you want to make sure of when you're using desk risers is that you don't find yourself hunching over, because again, it's all about the desk riser can only do so much, but part of it's down to your own sort of mindful choice of posture, but it definitely, for me, reduced the discomfort and the long term spinal issue.

Speaker 1:

So that's number one, improved posture. Number two, aligned with that. I mean, there was points in time when I was sitting down for which was before I had the desk riser, points in time where I was sitting down to I'm sitting down to get on with my work and the pain just mounted up and up and up and up, to the point that I just had to stop what I was doing. That was when I think about it. It's really bad, isn't it? I'm sitting down for such a long time that I was in pain and it was only the pain that was sort of alerting me to get up. Those were the old days. I'm nothing like that now. I'm much more sort of akin to walking around, going for walks, et cetera, all these different things, but in the early days I was just letting my back tell me when to get up, which is really bad when I think about it now.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I mean having this desk rise definitely increased my productivity, because standing while working has been for me. It's increased my blood flow, oxygenation around the body, higher energy levels, better focus. I don't have to focus on the pain in my back and apparently numerous studies have shown that people who stand, who are standing desks or these desk risers, are more productive and engaged in their work compared to people who just sit there all day. But so, yeah, that definitely helped my productivity. So, yeah, I mean, like I alluded to before, let's move on to number three reducing health risks. Now, if I'd gone on and on and on for years and just sort of worked to the point that I was risking the pain in my back or risking the sort of health of my personal health, or just waiting for my back to remind me to get up, that would have probably had more long-term health issues. My back is much better than it used to be.

Speaker 1:

Prolonged sitting has been associated with various health issues, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease. So, yes, it's something that I mean. I'm not saying that desk risers are gonna sort of get rid of or alleviate all these different things, but you wanna increase. I suppose what it points to is increased mobility, increased movement, increased energy, all these sorts of things. The desk riser encourages that movement. It breaks up prolonged periods of sitting. It encourages you to be more mindful about how you go about exercising and moving around and, by allowing an alteration between sitting and standing throughout the day, it helps you to reduce I think it's helped me anyway to reduce health risks associated especially with my physiological health risks, and it's helped me to be a lot healthier than I was just put it that way. So that's number three.

Speaker 1:

Number four for me, it enhanced my mood because, imagine I'm sitting there doing my work, I'm trying to get my work done, my back starts to hurt, I'm getting grumpy about the pain in my back and I'm getting grumpy by the fact that I haven't finished what I was doing and I have to get up in order to get rid of the pain, go and get some painkillers, et cetera. You can imagine how my mood was when I was in that situation. So, yeah, I can directly point to the fact that the desk riser has definitely helped me to enhance my mood. Certainly has. So it can have the same effect for you if you have to sit for a long period of time or have been sitting for a long period of time. If you have back issues and need to stand to alleviate pain from your back, maybe it can help you with your mood as well. So that's number four.

Speaker 1:

Number five it saves space. Definitely with me. I don't live in a massive house by any stretch of the imagination, so the desk riser's definitely helped me to save space, because the beauty of the desk riser is that you can sit it on top of your existing desk. Some of the sit-stand desks are quite big, they're quite wide, they're quite long and they're quite deep, so they can take up a lot of room, whereas if you have a small square shaped desk, for example, or you prefer a more sort of compact desk, you could just sit it on top of your existing desk. So desk riser makes it ideal for you if you have limited space but you still wanna reap the benefits of being able to stand while you're working. So that's another good reason to invest in a desk riser.

Speaker 1:

What else do we have on my list? So that was number five. Save space. Number six customizable. So the desk riser is definitely something that, for me, has been customizable.

Speaker 1:

You get different standards of desk risers. Not all desk risers are made equal. So make sure you invest in the right one. Do your research, have a look around, ask people what they think of their desk risers, look at reviews online, et cetera. The desk riser comes in various sizes, designs, offering a range of customization options to suit your specific needs. Some models even come with additional features, such as monitor arms, keyboard trays, cable management systems, and this level of customization allows you to create a personalized and ergonomic setup that optimizes your comfort and efficiency throughout your working day. So I love that ability to customize your workspace, and that is something that I love about working from home is my workspace suits me, gets me in the right mood to work, be as productive as I possibly can and get the work done. So that's number six and number seven on my list.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they're pretty cost effective, so you can get desk risers into the hundreds of pounds, some to 100 pounds, which, like I said, it's an investment. You invest it and you can. It's an alternative to purchasing a sit stand desk Some of the sit stand desks. If you don't pay sort of like 500 pounds on upwards, or five, 600 dollars upwards, you're not gonna get a good quality sort of option. So the desk riser is a cost effective alternative to the standing desk, a desk riser. It's a one time investment that brings, like the health benefits that I just explained, productivity improvements. So by choosing the right desk riser, you can enhance your overall wellbeing, work performance, cost effective, all these different kinds of things.

Speaker 1:

So I wonder I mean that's number seven have you got a desk riser as part of your setup at work, whether that's at home or wherever you work?

Speaker 1:

If you have, how has your desk riser been?

Speaker 1:

What desk riser might you recommend? Can you get in touch with me? Can you get in touch? Just leave a comment, even just leave a rating, and just talk about your experiences with the podcast and talk about experience with desk riser. Whatever you wanna do, come and sort of say hi to me on LinkedIn. I've left my details in the show notes. Say hi on LinkedIn. Let me know your opinions of desk risers, because using desk risers, as I said, it offers numerous benefits that make considering buying a desk riser something that is definitely at the top of your list. For what I mentioned before improving your posture, improving productivity, reducing health risks, enhancing mood a desk riser is an affordable solution that can help you to work smarter and healthier. It's an investment at the end of the day, so invest in a desk riser today and enjoy all the benefits that I've just mentioned. As I said, don't forget to do your research to get a desk riser that best suits you, and I'll see you on the next edition of the Remote Work Life podcast.

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