Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sit Up Straight!

You totally just sat up straighter didn't you? Its instinctual. Your mom has been telling you for years to sit up straight and you have brushed her off just as often. Sitting up straight just didn't seem as important as finishing my dinner quickly so that I could run back outside and play until it got dark.

But now, sitting at this desk day in and day out, I find myself wishing that I had listened. Had I listened, I might have better posture. And better posture might come in handy right about now.

Like millions of people all over the place, I spend my working days chained to a computer. I spend my working life typing and mouse clicking. I think that my daily tasks might make these motions more repetitive than in other jobs, but the essence is the same. Recently, after smashing long held office processing records, I found that I was actually in a fair amount of pain. And I brought this up to my manager who mentioned ergonomics.

Basically (according to wikipedia and what I have pieced together from my manager) ergonomics has to do with improving the way that you work. Well there is a lot more to it than that, but in terms of the workplace, ergonomics is supposed to make your work space more comfortable so that prolonged use of a computer does not lead to long term injury. Like carpal tunnel syndrome (I'm pretty sure that I am in the beginning stages).

After the initial meeting an excited John came up to me (first thing in the morning! Let me have some tea first please) and started discussing the different things I could do-- apparently I needed to ensure that both my elbows were constantly supported. He also cc'd me on an email he had written to HR, I guess as proof that he was taking this seriously.

That was about a month ago. Predictably HR has not responded. I doubt they actually have anything to do about it anyway. I'm sure that they would suggest more frequent breaks, which would of course, go completely against any kind of policy in place. And as excited as John initially was about the opportunity to explore workplace ergonomics, he too has not brought it up again.

So I'm left with what my mama taught me. And isn't that the way that it always goes? Sit up straight. Shoulders back. It helps for the moment (I feel so much taller) but I know that in about 5 more minutes I will be back to being hunched over, staring intently (and closely, maybe poor eyesight is the culprit) at my monitor, praying for the day to end so that I can walk it off.

Being a hunchback won't be that bad will it? I'm sure there is a church bell that needs ringing.

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