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Look After Yourself (Episode 4) – The Importance Of Good Posture
It’s all about you (Episode 4) – Good Posture.
Looking after yourself is important because you’re important to your business, and because you’re important – you look after yourself physically on-site.
You have safety obligations to yourself, and to your employees and anyone on your job site. But it all goes out the window in the office, doesn’t it?
We buy cheap desks, chairs, laptops or desktops, and off we go and we get working.
I’m going to focus on you rather than your employees for this, but this does apply equally to your office staff.
If you spend all day hunched over a laptop, peering at the screen, and typing on that keyboard and using that little trackpad, you’re going to get a backache. And if you do it for long periods every day, you’re quite likely to do yourself some serious damage.
Story – The horrible result of bad posture
Let me tell you a story about what happened to me.
I started this business, Small Fish Business Coaching in 2006. I work from home. I bought a desk and a laptop so I could go and work on people’s offices or in cafes but I thought I could sit on one of those dining chairs.
So I spent six months doing lots of work like that, slouching when I was on the phone, hung the phone on my ear when I was typing notes, sitting with my chin on my hand while in thought. And then one day, I went and lift my camper trailer out of the garage without really thinking and paying attention to how I did it, and something went beaten in my back and I did myself a serious injury. I got a bulging disc and I was in significant pain for 6 – 8 weeks.
It wasn’t very nice. It cost me a lot of money, time and effort to fix myself – a lot of time and money in physiotherapy and to buy a new mattress.
Recommended Reading: Look After Yourself (Episode 3) – Self-care: Fit Your Mask First
Part of my treatment and my fix was buying a proper desk chair, a monitor and a keyboard, and learning to sit properly, and going to the gym, and doing core strength exercises and really trying to get conscious about my posture.
I wouldn’t say I’m very good in that now but I haven’t had a recurrence of the injury so fingers crossed.
You’re in a higher risk position
If you’ve moved from working on site into an office environment, you’re at risk like I was. You might be setting yourself up for something similar and I’m reminding you it’s not very nice.
I’m sure there’s a few people who’ve had similar injuries.
You’re in a higher risk position than I am.
You move from being at home sitting hunched over your laptop to a worksite. You probably get involved and lift things up and help the team out even if you’re not actively on the tools yourself. So you’re at a much greater risk of injury even with your training you’ve had about how to lift properly.
This is a serious thing.
- Look after yourself on your job site
- Lift properly
- Wear proper boots
- Wear your hard hat
- Wear your eye protection
- Get in the car
- Put your seatbelt on
- Get into the office
And it all goes out the window.
What you should do?
What you should do is look after yourself in the office too.
- Set your working area up properly
- Get a proper desk at the approved proper height
- Get a proper chair that makes you sit up straight with your bum backed into the seat at the back and your feet flat on the floor
- Get a monitor so you’re looking slightly down
- Have a decent sized keyboard and a mouse rather than the track pad so you’re not sitting hunched over
If you’re really keen, get yourself a stand-up desk. (I’m buying a stand-up desk soon so I’m standing up, my back is straight and I’m inclined to move about a bit more).
Moving is very important. We’re not built to sit for long periods. We’re built to move about and be constantly moving. This is what doctors are saying lately and physiotherapists alike – so move.
If you’re going to sit, set yourself a ping on your phone that makes you get up and walk about for a couple of minutes every half an hour.
If you’re on the phone, don’t sit. Pace around. I pace around when I’m on the phone.
I’m about to buy a stand-up desk with a treadmill under it so I’ll be walking while I’m working.
I think that’s hilarious. I don’t know how it will go for me but I’ll be moving and I’ll be protecting my back and I won’t be slouched in my chair. I get a backache and neck ache. I’m sure you do too.
At the very least, buy yourself a proper desk, a monitor, a keyboard, and a decent chair, and try to sit properly and try to be conscious of this.
Move every hour. Walk around when you’re on the phone. And of course, consider doing the same for your employees
It may feel like a bit of an expense, but I suspect it’s a worthwhile investment in your own health an in your team’s health.
I can help a little bit by helping you commit to doing this, and making a plan, and thinking about the money and holding you accountable. But I’m primarily a business coach. I run a program called the Tradies Toolbox Coaching Program which is about helping you make more money and put those structures and systems in place in your business.
There are four ways you can engage with me:
1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.
2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.
3. Attend my next Tools Down workshop.
4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.
See you later.