How to Keep Your Body and Your Business in Top Condition

Computer_Workstation_VariablesSometimes the most painful part of running your own business can be the almost innumerable number of hours spent sitting at your desk.

This might show up in a variety of ways. Your back may start to ache, or it could be your bottom. Some people may not notice it until they get home from work and realize they’re more stiff and sore than they think they should be. Or you might notice that your golf or tennis game is going downhill.

I want to look at maintaining your health while running your small business from three important points of view:

  • Ergonomics,
  • Muscle tone, and
  • Calorie burn.

Be comfortable

You’re probably familiar wit the term “ergonomic” but it bears review. The word was originally coined to describe efficient working environments, but today we generally use it to discuss work stations that are designed to provide maximum physical comfort and minimum physical stress. For office work, your chair, desk, keyboard, and computer monitor are the keys.

Start with an ergonomic chair that gives you sufficient back support and allows your feet to rest flat on the floor. Your computer keyboard should be at a level where you can type while your arms are at your side with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Your eyes should zero in on your computer screen with your head in its natural position – no tilting up or down.

This standard setup overlooks one important health consideration: the danger of prolonged sitting. Sitting is the new smoking, according to many health experts. If your work is primarily done at a desk, consider a desk that can be raised and lowered so you can frequently move to a standing position. Do a search for “desks that raise and lower” and you’ll get a lot of options. If you don’t want to invest in a new desk, Varidesk makes table top units that get the job done.

Exercise breaks

If you’re following my advice and using the Pomodoro technique to alternate your workday between focused work sessions and short breaks, you can use those breaks to work on your fitness: developing better muscle tone, flexibility and endurance.

I came across these seven-minute workouts the other day and they are excellent. They would be easy to pull off in almost any office environment. They will get your heart rate up (always check with your physician before jumping into a new exercise program) and also tone up your muscles.

Augment these changes to improve your in-office health habits with some good exercise on the weekends and a couple of mornings or evenings a week, and you’ll be good to go for the long term.

If you’ve been following me the last few months, you know I’m a huge advocate for small business owners achieving “Outrageous Success.” However, if your health suffers while you build your business, it can be all for naught. The purpose of success is to enable you and your family to enjoy life and experience true fulfillment. Maintaining your health and vitality are fundamental to those goals.

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Image: “Computer Workstation Variables” by Berkeley Lab – Ergonomics, Integrated Safety Management, Berkeley Lab.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.