Stuck at your desk? Get a workplace makeover!

Stuck at your desk? Get a workplace makeover!

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Your job may be taking a hidden toll on your health. A recent report found sitting all day long is just as dangerous to your health as smoking cigarettes. Still, many of us don't have a choice. We have to go to work, where we sit at a desk for 8-to-10 hours a day. So, we found one Georgia employer giving workspace makeovers… installing desks that move!

To get to work, many of us sit in Atlanta traffic every morning.

Then, we get to our jobs and sit for another eight to ten hours.

But not Tim Thompson at Georgia Pacific's downtown Atlanta headquarters.

After 25 years at an old-school seated desk, last month the customer service manager got a new "space age" work station. With the push of a button, he can go form sitting to standing - without interrupting what he's doing. Thompson loves the flexibility of his new desk, saying, " When you feel like you want to sit down, lower the work station down and you're ready to go."

The guy behind these new adjustable desks is JC Rodriguez, Georgia Pacific's manager of ergonomics. That's the science of making our workspaces work better for our bodies.

He hopes the adjustable desks will encourage employees to move, and stretch out, during the workday. Rodriguez says, "As research goes on, we realize we need to change postures, we need to move. It increase blood flow. It releases certain stress that builds up. It allows us to be more engaged."


Taking five minutes to make some small changes in your workspace can make your desk a better fit for you. First, Rodriguez says, take a look at the layout of your workspace. Does it allow you to move easily without a lot of leaning, twisting and turning? Rodriguez says, "Your keyboard, your mouse, anything you use on a regular basis, you want to keep it close to you so you don't have to reach for it."

Place your computer monitor at eye-level – or just below eye-level – about an arm's length away to avoid leaning forward. And make sure your desk is balanced. He says a lot of us keep our keyboard off to the right, our mouse on the right of that, and our phone and other gadgets to the right of that. That overloads the right side of the desk. So, he suggests moving your phone over to the left side of the desk to even things out.

Make sure your chair is positioned so your feet touch the floor, and you're sitting with your knees at a right angle.

His final tip, is probably the most important: move more often, and change postures to give your body a break. Stand up when you talk on the phone. Or walk some laps around your office when you get a few minutes. When it comes to moving, Rodriguez says, "We can all do more of that, and we can do better at that."

Give yourself reminders to get up and take a break. Stick up a post-it note, or set your phone alarm to remind you it's time to get up and go for a walk. Even a five-minute stroll can help relax your muscles, and maybe even burn a few calories.

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