Over thousands of years, human beings have evolved to run long distances, hunt and forage for food and spend the majority of our time outside. What we’re not designed for is sitting hunched over a desk for hours on end.
And yet that’s exactly what’s happening in our increasingly office-based culture, with 78% of office workers saying they spend too long sat down. That’s why bad posture in the workplace is such a common (and growing) problem.
Why is good posture so important?
Your mum was right: your posture is important. Good posture means that your bones, muscles, joints and ligaments are properly aligned, leading to them being used more efficiently.
Good posture can also help prevent several health problems, including:
- Increased risk of backaches
- Poor digestion
- Increased chances of cardiovascular issues
- Varicose veins
- Changes in your spinal curvature
What causes bad posture?
There are a number of different sitting and standing habits we pick up that lead to bad posture, especially when spending long hours sitting in front of a computer screen at work.
Things you may be doing that lead to bad posture include:
- Slouching in your chair
- Hunching your back
- Rounding your shoulders
- Poking your chin out when sat at a desk
- Cradling your phone between your ear and neck
These positions can sometimes feel more comfortable than actually sitting correctly, but they’re a habit that needs to be broken to avoid health problems down the line.
The type of lifestyles we live can also contribute to the way we hold ourselves. Prolonged periods of inactivity, a lack of exercise and poor ergonomic workstations can all lead to problems with your posture.
Luckily, there are some easy ways in which you can help break these habits and stay standing tall.
How to win the fight against bad posture
It’s never too late to make an effort to start improving your posture. Take these measures now to look forward to a future of better health.
Understand your posture
To improve your posture, you need to know how you currently hold yourself.
Take a look at your posture in the mirror. See where your hands rest and feel where you hold tension (for most people, this is usually in the shoulders).
If your palms face your thighs with your thumbs pointing ahead, your posture is good. If your palms face backwards, you’re probably slouching. To correct this, pull your head back and your shoulders down and back.
Make an effort to sit properly
We often develop bad posture through how we sit. If you sit too far forward on your chair, you put additional pressure on your pubic bone, and if you sit too far back, the pressure mounts on your tailbone.
Find the right balance by keeping your feet flat on the floor, your back straight and centring your weight. You should also think about supporting your lower back to prevent aches and pains if you spend long periods of time sitting.
Try correcting exercises
There are certain exercises you can do to help counteract the damage of bad posture. The best exercises strengthen your core, extend and flex your muscles and encourage better balance. They include:
- Shoulder stretches
Make sure you’re fully supported with the correct furniture
In office environments, there is a natural tendency to lean forward towards your computer, slouch at your desk or keep your legs crossed for long periods, which can lead to increased tension and muscle strain throughout your body. One of the best ways to combat this is to ensure that you are provided with comfortable, ergonomic furniture that supports good posture.
Height adjustable desks are great for encouraging good posture, as you can decide between sitting or standing whilst doing your work, giving muscle groups a rest during the day.
The right kind of chair is also very important. You need to ensure that you’re comfortable and supported and that your chair is ergonomically designed to avoid any health issues.
For more information about health and wellbeing in the office, take a look at the best ways to encourage your staff to start exercising, or take a look at the six seating sins office workers usually fall victim to.
In the offices of today, it is a lot more than just a bank of desks with monitors and PC’s/Mac’s being installed on each. You want it to inspire! Inspire your colleagues to push that extra bit further, think that little bit harder for that spark of creativity that gives you that one fantastic idea.
When clients enter your office you want them to be impressed. You want your office environment to represent your business. You want the look of the office to nail how you choose to market your business. Want to be seen as the cool kids on the block? Get inventive with your office design. Want to be seen as the retro kids who live for the 70’s/80’s? Where are the arcade machines? It is also true that it is the people who adopt these office spaces as their own are the ones who bring the office to life. While this is most certainly true, you must make sure that your colleagues are comfortable at their work stations to increase productivity. The best way to boost productivity in your office environments is to make sure your colleagues have the space to; eat together, play together and hang out together. The happier the colleagues, the more productive you will work.
A popular concept that small firms as well as large ones such as Microsoft, Macquarie Bank & Ernst & Young is ‘hot desking’. Hot desking is simply bring your laptop and working essentials, plunk them anywhere and you are good to go. Multiple employees can, in this arrangement, use the same desk at different hours during a day.
The image shows a Photorealistic 3d render of an office.
As well as our signature range of office furniture, we also supply a select range of all-important accessories designed to help your workplace reach its very highest potential. As with our office desks, chairs, task lighting and space-planning products, all of our accessories are chosen for their high levels of quality, delivering consistent optimal performance. So, what’s in the range? Here is a taste…
No office could work without electricity, a power source which has become so integral to our modern lives that we take it completely for granted. Power management is therefore of paramount importance and the range of components in this section are designed for convenience and reliability.
A quick peep behind our TV at home will leave most of us shuddering at the snarled tangle of wires, making us quickly look away and wonder why we looked behind there in the first place. In the office, particularly if there are many computers, the problem is dramatically magnified – check out our range of options for cable management to prevent Spaghetti Junction!
Keep everyone in the office breathing easy by heading over to this section. You could completely change the atmosphere of your workplace for the better with one of our contemporary air purifiers.
The 1970s vision of a paperless office never quite came to fruition – keeping hard copy of many documents is essential practice. Railex is a comprehensive filing system and offers the perfect way to keep everything practically organised for fast and accurate location later on.
March is Workplace Eye Awareness Month and, as the eye functions by interpreting light and the way it strikes different objects, workplace lighting is an important consideration. Getting it exactly right in each unique environment is a challenge but one that our experienced and talented team are more than qualified to take on and win.
Want to save space, improve productivity and protect important documents? Use a Hotbox to do all three at once with the added benefit of being able to take it with you – the product is sturdy, durable, compact and lightweight with its own optional wheeled caddy.
Have we whetted your appetite? Then head on over to our ‘Accessories’ section to discover even more items in the range!
There are a precious lucky few people who will be able to say that the air they breathe in at work feels cool, fresh and pleasant, refreshing them. An even smaller number of these people report seeing soft-edged, organic and natural shapes and tones. Instead, a worrying majority of us at work, school, university or other public buildings have to tolerate stale or artificially-conditioned air in our lungs and dull, artificial shapes & colours on our retinas. Why? And when will it change? The answer, thankfully, is very soon indeed.
The presence of plants in the indoor environment has been proven to have many benefits on humans, from a perceived improvement in air quality to higher levels of morale, productivity and health. Studies in hospitals show that patients heal quicker and experience lower pain levels when plants are around and research on a smaller scale suggests a host of practical beneficial effects from bringing the green inside – the effects range from lower levels of employee absenteeism to a reduction in energy usage.
For any business or organisation, there are financial constraints which cannot be ignored – budget is naturally of major importance and any investment must be carefully considered for its cost-effectiveness. It is here that indoor plants have met a stumbling block and hence not gained truly widespread appeal – a new study, which will include masses of data from social organisations, research institutes and any organisation which registers its interest and is approved, aims to make sweeping changes and usher in a new, green era.
“There are as yet insufficient concrete figures on the matter and insufficient innovative and usable green solutions,” as Annemieke Smit, the Project Leader, succinctly sums up the matter. Under her expert guidance, the research team will collate data and produce a definitive, authoritative guide to use freely when deciding future strategy, policy and actions for the business in relation to interior plants and organic office design.
Do you want cleaner air, unrivalled natural aesthetics and healthier, happier employees? Find out how with DBI – browse our select range of indoor plants and call us to get the fastest, most competitive quote.
The brain. The body. How often we mentally, verbally and symbolically draw a distinction between these two things which are, ipso facto, two parts of the unique, unified you. Sit/stand desks are almost exclusively associated with beneficial effects on the body and, though these do lead to beneficial mental effects as well, the results of a new study appear to show a much more direct, organic and potentially-groundbreaking link. Ready to improve your neurocognition? Let’s take the journey together.
The most recent edition of respected scientific publication The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health contained the results of a year-long study carried out at a high school in Texas, USA. Led by Ranjana Mehta, a team of researchers followed a group of 27 young people through a year at school, administering neurocognitive tests at the beginning and end. In the interim, the students underwent a transition to ‘standing-biased’ classrooms, having never experienced such a thing prior to the study.
Five cognitive tests (evaluating decision-making, reasoning, memory, modification of cognitive strategy and cognitive flexibility) were given before and after the 27 students had been exposed to sit/stand desk options. Results of the tests, which were inspired by observational data and combined with data from a portable brain-imaging machine, indicated that using a sit/stand desk:
Caused or contributed to a general improvement in participants’ test scores of between 7-14%. It appears highly unlikely that education received during the year could have caused such a leap as scores from these standard tests are usually fixed around the age of 12
Increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with working memory and high-level problem-solving/decision-making
Is worthy of further, more detailed studies with a seated control group and including average grades and standardised test scores
Concluding, the authors of the study said: “These findings provide the first preliminary evidence on the neurocognitive benefits of standing desks, which to date have focused largely on energy expenditure. If the results are backed up in further studies, it could mean that a simple furniture swap to standing desks could lead to a rise in outstanding students.”
We have embraced the sit/stand desk concept since it emerged and can now offer a wide selection of designs to suit any office space. Start browsing the collection HERE and call us to get a fast, competitive quote!
‘Ripe for Reinvention’ – this is what the modern workplace is revealed to be in a new research paper by Teknion in collaboration with respected design experts. The paper, titled ‘Ethonomics: Designing For The Principles Of The Modern Workplace’, outlines new and innovative design strategies that are predicted to have an influential effect in 2016.
It is becoming more commonly recognised that the workspace should bend and flex to meet the needs of the workers that inhabit it. Many companies are doing extremely well at implementing new strategies but there is still much room for improvement. Here we look at some of the most important office design trends to watch out for in 2016.
- Concealing Cables – power and data are clearly essential in the office environment but the problem of wires is a continuing one. Office furniture manufacturers are developing ever-more optimal ways to integrate cables seamlessly, preventing a prestigious executive office desk from looking shabby, disorganised and scruffy
- Multitask, Multipurpose – this is one area where progress is swift. As cubicle-style offices become less common, replaced by bench desking solutions, non-assigned seating is just as quickly sweeping in. Oval desks are predicted to grow in popularity as a convenient and versatile meeting place for larger groups while sit/stand height-adjustable office desks will be put to uses during standing meetings
- Go Green – natural decoration is high on the list of many renowned interior designers. Incorporating natural, organic patterns in fabrics is growing in prominence, as is the inclusion of green plants and foliage within the office space. Plants, both real and artificial, have a number of proven positive effects on employees from reduced absence to improved motivation and productivity
- Love to Lounge – Jeff Miller, formerly of Herman Miller and Apple, is now Vice President of Design for Poppin, a globally-successful office furniture manufacturer. He predicts new spaces being created that are totally at odds with traditional rigid workstations. Comfort is key, suggests Miller, saying that this ‘stimulates relaxed collaboration’. This need to provide comfort mandates the need for dedicated lounge areas
We can quickly and reliably supply everything you need to transform your office ready for 2016 and the future beyond. Cable management, office desking, replica plants, soft seating – we really do have it all and also employ a skilled, talented and passionate space planning team.
Ready for 2016? If not, call DBI Furniture Solutions today and we will set you on the right path.
Modern design can no longer treat carefully-implemented office ergonomics as an option. Awareness of the many health implications suffered by people as a result of their jobs continues to rise and those companies who fail to provide adequate ergonomic care for their employees lose out in a number of ways.
Here we look at three ways in which optimised office ergonomics can improve the health of both your employees and your business.
Health & Wellbeing
Numerous studies have all shown the same thing – sitting down for too long is bad for you, particularly when the chair you’re sitting on is poorly-designed for the individual.
Back and neck pain are among the most frequent health problems reported by office employees, with stress and depression naturally following.
Contemporary office furniture is designed to minimise the health risks of working in an office by personalising the experience for each user.
Adjustable flexibility is key and this ethos extends across everything from desking and chairs to dedicated task lighting. Every employee should have access to the best office furniture possible and many items have an extremely reasonable price tag attached so you don’t have to break the bank to improve the health and morale of your employees for good.
Productivity & Reputation
As employee comfort increases, productivity goes up right along with it.
This is true only up to a certain point – make the office too comfortable and you might send everyone to sleep!
Chairs should be firm and supportive, creating good posture and reducing exertion by restricting motions and extending reach.
Height-adjustable sit/stand desks are the perfect complement to ergonomic office chairs and further enhance productivity.
Happy employees are more optimistic, directly affecting the planning and execution of their work. As work improves, so too does the reputation of your company.
Legality and Liability
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees and an extensive amount of older office furniture is really no longer fit for purpose.
As knowledge of the health problems directly caused by poor office ergonomics increases, we could very soon see the amount of employer liability cases sharply rise.
In a recent news article, we looked at the results of the most recent study into how sitting down for extended periods of time can have hugely-negative effects on human health, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
More and more organisations are taking the step towards modernity, creating dynamic, flexible and agile working environments that improve the health, happiness and productivity of their employees – sit/stand desks, now available directly from us, offer immediate benefits and are a major step forward in contemporary office design.
Throughout our history, we have maintained a sharp focus on office ergonomics and have always been among the first to supply the latest technological innovations with our extremely-discerning clients. We continue to develop and enhance our close working relationships with the very best manufacturers of office furniture and are proud to add sit/stand desks to our comprehensive collection.
The height-adjustable desk is thankfully becoming a more common sight in the modern office environment as the problems caused by extended periods of sitting at a computer become more obvious and understood. We supply an eclectic range of sit/stand desks, as they are commonly known, and here we offer some tips for ensuring their optimum performance.
Recent research that revealed the many health problems caused by sitting down for too long, particularly with little other movements, caused an instant call for people to stand more. This increased focus has ironically led to some people now standing up for too long – a practice that has its own accompanying health risks such as increased risk of varicose veins and atherosclerosis. As with many things in life, balance is the key.
Users of sit/stand desks should adjust their posture approximately every 30-45 minutes and in not less than one hour. Avoid extended periods of standing or sitting. What is the best posture? The next posture
Ensure that the desk is adjusted correctly. People have a tendency to set the desk too high, forcing a posture of elevated shoulders and increasing fatigue levels and injury risk. A safe working level is at or just below the height of the elbows at 90 degrees when the shoulders are relaxed and the upper arms resting by the sides
Sit back completely, allowing your chair to support you. If you have one, position your computer keyboard to around 2” above the lap and keep the elbows close to the body as you work
If budget permits, choosing a sit/stand desk with electrical adjustment is preferable to avoid cranking by hand
Be proactive – don’t wait for discomfort or pain to strike before optimising your workstation setup. Get it right first time and avoid stress later on
Please enjoy browsing our select range of sit/stand desks. For more tips on optimal usage, call our technical team now or chat to us online.
Our latest space planning and office furniture supply/installation project was recently completed, leaving specialist insurance company Integro Doodson with a contemporary workspace of superior functionality and professional aesthetic appearance. With a skilled, dedicated and forward-thinking team from DBI working on the project, everything went without a hitch and the new office is already having beneficial effects on the company’s numerous staff members.
Integro Doodson, a Manchester-based company, has been established since 1984. Since that time, a programme of constant reinvestment and optimisation has allowed it to grow and evolve – Integro Doodson now provide specialist insurance services to large corporate entities and a number of individuals, many of whom are high-profile (and highly-paid!) stars of the sport and entertainment worlds.
As an insurance group operating globally, Integro Doodson represent the UK as one of its leading independent brokers. Recent successes internationally have meant that the company’s old premises have simply become too small to comfortably accommodate the staff, which currently totals over 130 individuals. To reflect the growing prestige, importance and influence of Integro Doodson, it was obvious to decision-makers that office furniture of the very highest quality and expert space-planning services were essential to properly kit out the new, larger office facilities.
The new office furniture supplied by us to Integro Doodson included products from:
Senator Office Furniture
Senator furniture really needs no introduction – as one of the most well-recognised brands in the field and with a comprehensive portfolio of products designed to suit a multitude of applications, Senator are a force to be reckoned with. In the open-plan areas of the new Integro Doodson office, we installed Senator Freeway bench desking to improve the comfort, health and productivity of the company’s busy staff, whose many diverse roles will be ably facilitated by the innovative desking system.
Sven Christiansen Furniture
The boardroom always calls for something extra-special in terms of furnishings and this project was no exception. Several pieces of executive office furniture, designed to bespoke specification, were supplied to create just the right atmosphere – professional, intelligent, focused – for this space, which is the very hub of the company’s operations.
The Sven Christiansen brand, often shortened familiarly to Sven, has been making waves in the furniture sector since it was established in 1974 as a cabinet maker. From this specialised beginning, the company grew and diversified quickly to become what it is now – one of the UK’s most respected manufacturers of office furniture. Hand-finished at the Sven factory in the West Midlands, products made by the company today still reflect that original dedication to fine craftsmanship.
We will keep in close contact with Integro Doodson to ensure that everything is functioning to optimum levels, providing fast and effective solutions if required due to the ever-changing needs of the company’s large staff.
Planning on refurbishing your office space to bring it in line with modern standards and reflect the quality of your business? Contact our team now and let us do all the hard work for you.