Alright people. I know. You think sitting in an office for a living is total easy street. And…yeeeeaaah, it mostly is. HOWEVER…sometimes it can be just plain treacherous sitting on those office keisters all day. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of the top five most dangerous threats that could be lurking around your cubicle corner at any given moment:
Threat #1: The Chair Scooter
You know who you are. You are the lazy little worker bee who refuses to get off your hams and walk the 15 or so feet to the printer. Not only does that little backwards mini shuffle scoot thing look ridiculous, it also poses a great threat to your fellow office mates. Much like the VERY REAL threat of strollers at the mall in Salt Lake City, you are quite likely to run one of us down and cause serious shin or toe damage. I, for one, tend to not do the chair scoot due to the very real language barrier that exists between my dog and I…do you know how hard it is to explain to him “no Max, I can’t walk any further…do you not understand that I work in an office!?!” So get up and walk…your dog will thank you, and the seams of your pants will too.
Threat #2: Eye Strain
Hopefully, if this threat applies to you, this would occur when you are diligently going over and over those numbers you just put together for that big meeting, and NOT when you are contemplating your next plan of attack on Farmville or Mafia Wars. But let’s be real, either scenario is quite likely and both may lead to eye trouble. Staring at a monitor for hours on end is just not good for your peepers. Signs of strained eyes include blurry vision (unless you forgot to put in your contacts that day, which in my case is a quite common occurrence) watery or dry eyes, a sore neck or a headache. So next time you are quadruple checking that spreadsheet or planting those strawberry crops, do yourself a favor and either change the font to “granny font size 18”, reach for those eye drops, or simply take a break and focus on objects at different distances…like that fellow coworker getting run down by the chair scooter. You know it and I know it, it’s funny if it isn’t you that’s getting bulldozed. But I digress…your eyes are important, especially if you dabble in professional bocce ball or street hockey.
Threat #3: Back pain
Let’s face it, most of us have the posture of Larry King. This, of course, is not ideal…unless the look is necessary to pull off those stylish suspenders you’ve been sporting. However, good posture or not, sitting at a desk all day can cause some serious aches and pains. My suggestions? Get up and randomly start doing lunges and stretches. Maybe throw in some jumping jacks, or do the downward dog pose. Or, instead of doing the chair scoot to the printer, consider a nice backwards lunge walk. Not only does this crazy behavior encourage others to look up from their computers, which in turn combats the eye strain problem that is so prevalent in the office, it will also make your back feel much better.
Threat #4: Snacking
Grazing like a cute little cow at your desk can have serious consequences. Depending on how speedy your metabolism is, mindless snacking can add up to an extra 1,000 calories a day…roughly 1.5 pounds a week! This scenario is primarily bad due to the difficult conversation you are going to have to have with your dog next time you can’t hoof it that extra mile. I strongly recommend bringing a water bottle to work. Surprisingly, the majority of the population is extremely dehydrated. Often times your body is simply trying to tell you that you are thirsty, but you may misinterpret that signal and think you are doing yourself a favor by rolling your chair over to the big plate of Valentine’s Day cupcakes that some jerk graciously decided to tempt you with. Instead, either WALK over to those Valentine’s Day cupcakes (because sometimes you just deserve to treat yourself) or pack yourself some veggies before you head off to work. Take THAT stupid and delicious cupcakes.
Threat #5: LOUD NOISES!
If you work in a loud environment, chances are you are going to be subjected to more to stress than if you worked in a delightful spa. These loud noises may include your friendly office neighbor loudly chatting on the phone with her sister (FOR HALF AN HOUR) about how she’s still battling that bad bout of food poisoning from “both ends”. Or, perhaps you just work in a generally loud environment, and are fortunate enough not to have to hear any lovely specifics. Anywho, good solutions are noise canceling earphones, ear plugs…or perhaps just telling that charming coworker to shut it…somewhat nicely.
So there you have it. Working in an office CAN be dangerous. However with these tricks of the trade, you will be much more likely to escape your 9-5 shift completely unharmed. Just be on the lookout.