This is Emma, a real human doll, which was made by a team of experts and researchers to embody the amount of physical harm caused by modern work environments and behavior, specifically, working in offices in front of a computer for more than 7 hours per day.
The team of researchers, led by behavior expert William Higham, conducted a study of 3,000 employees from France, Britain, and Germany, the results published in the Fellowes report for 2019 showed that the majority of the research sample stated that today they suffer from many health problems due to the work environment and behavior such as back pain, headache, eye strain.
That is why the team of researchers predicted future health problems based on current data, and they embodied these health problems in a puppet to tell the world through them that this is what will happen to us after 20 years from now (as people who work in front of the computer for long hours and a similar environment) if we do not make fundamental changes In our method and work environment.
Poor Emma, she had a permanent hump in her back because she had been sitting wrong in front of the computer over the years, and her eyes were dry and had redness due to prolonged looking at the computer screen.
Not to mention that she suffers from an arterial expansion in her legs due to her sitting, lack of walking and movement, and other health problems that have become chronic over time.
1) Change the chair
The most important and first point from which you should start is the chair you are sitting on, in fact, I did not realize the importance of the chair previously until I began researching ergonomics (also called the science of human factors).
At the time, I discovered that most back and neck pain starts with the wrong choice of chair. Especially after I started working full time from home in 2018.
At that moment, I decided to buy a desk chair, and I was very interested in the shape, so I didn’t want to distort my room in a big black chair like what we see in companies, so I got a stylish white chair from Ikea, but after about a month I realized that was a very stupid decision.
The elegant chair was not comfortable at all and even exacerbated my back pain.
The result: I decided to invest money in obtaining an ergonomic chair, that is, designed in a way that supports the correct seating.
For example, if you support your spine, lower back, neck, arms, and legs properly, the more the parts of the chair are controllable (i.e. the higher / lower / advance/move back), the better and healthier the chair.
By the way, not every office chair is necessarily an ergonomic chair, even those in companies.
Because these chairs are usually expensive, but I highly recommend that you invest in your health and get this type of chair at any price.
If your company does not provide it to you, there is nothing wrong with you to pay out of your pocket, in the end, this is your body and this is your health and you alone who will pay the price in the future.
2) Raise the screen
Most of us work on laptops, and therefore most of the time our backs and necks are bent because we look down while the screen level must be high to be almost in front of our eyes so that we don’t have to bend as this image shows:
There are two methods you can apply to raise the screen level:
The first way: to get a laptop stand or base like this:
The type I am currently using works for the purpose, but the problem is that my laptop screen is small (13 inches), so sometimes I find myself subconsciously leaning towards the screen to try to read what is written in a small font.
If your screen is big then this solution will be very suitable, also it is an excellent solution and even necessary for those who work remotely, traveling a lot, traveling a lot.
The second method: to get a large external screen, and this is what I am currently seeking, but most of the screens that I have seen so far cannot be controlled by lifting them, so be sure not to fall into the same problem as in the following image:
You can deal with the problem of a low external screen or even a laptop (if you can’t get a carrier base) by placing a set of books, a box, or anything under the screen to raise their level, as did this man who put a set of print papers under his screen.
Or, you can have a flexible screen neck/arm that can be controlled by the level of height and decline, as in the image below.
3) Turn your arms to a 90-degree angle
In fact, I didn’t pay any attention to the keyboard and mouse before because I was – and still am – working on a laptop.
But after research and experience, I realized their importance. First, if you raise the screen as explained in the previous point, you will have to use an external keyboard and mouse, because the laptop will not be in a position to write on it.
Second, the use of an external keyboard and mouse allows your arms to be in a comfortable position approximately 90 degrees while leaning against the back of the chair as shown in the following image.
You can also get an ergonomic keypad, one of its most important qualities is that it has a piece that relaxes the wrist area of your arm, as shown below.
As for the mouse, I currently use 2 at the same time. Previously, I started using a normal wireless mouse, but because I am used to using a Mac and therefore familiar with the control and transmission capabilities provided by the iPad attached to Mac devices, I found, by time that I subconsciously bend toward the laptop to use Attached pad when the normal mouse can not help me in some quick uses (such as navigation between applications/pages), so I brought an external wireless Trackpad for these tasks that the normal mouse cannot do.
Note: This widget is not necessary for many, especially if you are not a Mac user.
4) Embrace the sun
One of Emma’s problems is that her skin is pale because of her years in an electric lighting office rather than sun exposure, the team of researchers explains.
But the problem is not only with pallor, but worse. Several months ago I did a comprehensive blood analysis and found that my vitamin D level is severely deficient.
Vitamin D has nothing to do with your diet because it comes from the sun. And of course, vitamin D affects everything in the body because it is linked to the immune system.
To deal with this problem, my doctor prescribed me to take a “solarium” twice a day for 3 months.
That is, to lie in the sun for 10-15 minutes at a time. Most people only need to do this once per day (I suggest that you search yourself and consult your doctor about what you should do).
I think that this is due to our lifestyle. For example in the US, most of our transportation is by car, not by walking in the streets, and car transport does not give the body an opportunity to be adequately exposed to sunlight.
In addition, working in offices where a large number of employees have not left until around sunset.
5) Take a break
Many times we get so busy at work that we are surprised that we spent 3 continuous hours or more without moving from our seat.
Experts advise that we take a 5-10 minute break every hour.
In my case, I often forgot to do so, so I was setting the mobile alarm to remind me, and over time it became automatic.
There are many apps that you can use to remind you – or even force you to turn off the screen – to take a break.
6) Prepare the “life ration”
I have always believed that I am not good at multitasking and my argument is that I cannot work and eat at the same time (I am really blissful with this skill!).
So it is natural for me to forget to eat if I was busy at work, and as a solution to the issue, my co-workers and I were preparing “light” meals like biscuits, chocolate, potato chips (chips), but I replaced this unhealthy eating more than 3 years ago with what I call a “Survival Supplies”, which usually consist of snacks such as dates, nuts (unroasted/salted), fruit, and dried fruit (natural drying and without adding sugar).
This pantry I always put in front of me at the desk.
But I think the subject of eating during working hours is more complicated than that.
A question like “What am I going to have for lunch today?” It is one of the most annoying questions because we are busy thinking about other things related to work.
When I was working in corporate offices, the team was usually involved in finding answers to this “existential” question, which is great because it relieves me of being preoccupied with this question, and of course, on the days when we are all busy, we even forget to ask for lunch.
But the problem is that most of the time we were requesting meals from fast restaurants until I started dealing with projects that provide meals that are brought in at home and are delivered to work offices.
In fact, this is one of the best investments I have made in my life, it is true that the cost is higher compared to fast food meals, but it is definitely healthy, clean options, and most importantly, it comes to me daily without any effort or mental effort.
Later on, I came to prepare my meals myself, but I plan and prepare them for the weekend.
Whatever your style, the important thing is to try to get clean and nutritious food for your body, soul, and mind.
Some people may ask, “But are not all these procedures costly ?!”
I will tell you: Of course my dear but think about it like any profitable investment, and I think that there is nothing more important than health, through which we will be able to do everything else and enjoy all the experiences and other properties.
I recall here a quote that I heard in one of the investor interviews: “Easy choices now, difficult life later; difficult choices now, easy life later”.
I don’t think we want to live a difficult life when we get old, especially if we are going to turn to frayed bodies And almost inactivated like Emma’s body.