You did not mean to make any noise, but when bending over to tie your shoe, your neck suddenly screams at you.
You recover, sit back up straight, and reach for your mouse when your wrist starts aching.
Alarmed, you reach for your phone to call the doctor and suddenly, your shoulder stiffens up.
What in the world is going on?
I know, it is a little melodramatic, but it illustrates a point. If your workstation does not include any ergonomic furniture, eventually your body lets you know.
Companies spend a lot of money convincing us to buy their ergonomic equipment because of how it improves our health.
Employers know that employees who improve their health do not miss as much work.
Fewer absences convert to more production time; more production time translates to higher profits.
Science, of course, backs up their claims, which helps decide to pull the trigger on approving the purchase order, ordering the furniture.
Engineering and technology have improved ergonomic office furniture, so it improves our posture and reduces eye and wrist strain far more efficiently than before.
The pain in your wrists, neck, or back flare up, so you start searching online for the best ergo tools in your price range.
You find and order your new ergonomic office furniture and depending on what you bought; it arrives in several boxes ready for installation.
You assemble your new ergo equipment, and you are prepared to start using it.
Fast-forward three months. Eliminating pain was the reason for buying the ergonomic furniture, but the pain has not subsided.
Unless there you have a medical issue that would not be remedied with ergo furniture, there are four primary reasons why you do not see any results:
- Buyer’s remorse
- Not using it enough
- Misusing it
- Unintended consequences
To gain the most benefit from any exercise or ergonomic tools, consistent and proper usage is critical.
There are no guarantees that any ergonomic tools produce the desired results if there is no effort in using it.
If you find yourself feeling buyer’s remorse after spending a lot of money for your new ergonomic furniture, it does not have anything to do with you.
In fact, those ill feelings have more to do with the “what” and the “how.”
What does that mean?
Let me explain.
There is a myriad of reasons to have second thoughts about whether or not you should have bought the costly ergonomic furniture.
Several of those reasons include:
- After you receive your new ergo furniture, you discover the quality you expected is far less than what you received.
- When assembling the furniture, you are sent horrible instructions vaguely written and poorly illustrated.
- You call for help, and all you hear while on hold is, “your call is important to us, please continue to hold.”
- During the process of buying the furniture, you discover how they treat customers when you deal with a condescending customer service rep who treats you like a child.
There are a few things to do to prevent feeling buyer’s remorse.
- Research: Even if a legitimately respectable website features your ergonomic furniture, do some homework. Alternate search terms related to the furniture you want to buy.
Not all companies use the same words and phrases describing their products. The broader your search, the higher your chances become to locate customer reviews from legit purchasers.
- Budget: Buy cheap, get cheap. Determine a realistic, affordable price range. Locate the best bang for your buck.
- Clarify: Be specific about what you are looking for. If you focus on what ergonomic improvements you need, you avoid getting caught up in marketing overload.
For example, a simple Google search of “ergonomic furniture” returns over 16 million results. Once you sort through ads focused on that search phrase, you need to continue to search ensuring you find what you are looking for.
- Trust: Once you decide on what piece of ergo furniture you need, research the company you choose to work with. Quick searches show what kind of customer support they offer.
The best online companies research the brands they represent and provide objective reviews of those brands. The very best online companies publish customer reviews.
These reviews are essential: how the company responds to customer concerns is a huge factor to build that “trust factor.”
If you do the work and make the most informed decision possible, then trust your judgment.
Knowing that if something is wrong with your new ergonomic furniture, the company you worked with has plenty of solutions for you to consider.
Not Using It Enough
You spend a great deal of time researching the ergonomic furniture you believe is the best answer for your issues and dole out the money to buy and have them shipped to you.
The boxes arrive, and you excitedly move them to an area where you rearranged furniture for the new desk to sit.
Just as you are about to open the box and start assembly, an important client calls asking the impossible.
So, you let the box set as you work solving that client’s problem. Working on the issue takes much longer than anticipated.
You end your day when the client is happy, and go home.
And the box sits there.
The next morning arrives with a sense of optimism as you start the day assembling your new ergonomic desk.
By mid-morning, you move your stuff to the desk and start using it.
You spend the rest of the day split between sitting and standing at your desk.
Your body is sore at first, but a week later, you start feeling better.
After a few weeks, the novelty of the new ergonomic desk starts wearing off. Your busy days distract you from maintaining the sit and stand routine you started off with.
Eventually, you end up sitting as much as you did before buying the desk.
Another scenario where you find you are not getting the results expected from using an ergonomic desk is misusing it.
There are several possible reasons for this incorrect usage, including
- Missed it by that much: installation was a breeze, but the measurements do not quite add up. The ergonomic desk is too wide to fit between the bookshelf and filing cabinet.
- Sitting at the big person’s table: The first time you sit at your new desk, it feels like you were back at your grandparent’s house for Thanksgiving when you were much younger and were able to sit at the big person’s table for the first time. It was cool sitting there, but the table was way too high, and it was not comfortable. Unfortunately, you re-live the memory as you try to make the new desk work to your advantage.
- Interpreting ancient Greek: try as you might, trying to read the instruction manual is near impossible. Poorly written instructions ruin every ergonomic benefit of your table.
- Huh? Opening the box reveals … something. That something may be what you ordered, but you are not sure what it is, much less how to use it.
Regardless of the reason, you spent a lot of money for an ergonomic desk that you cannot use.
You buy the perfect ergonomic desk. Installation is easier than anticipated. You use the new ergo desk the right way, slowly at first, then on a consistently regular schedule.
After your body adjusts, weeks go by without stiffness or pain.
After a few months, you begin to notice some soreness creeping in accompanied by stiffness in different joints.
You scratch these occurrences up to your body adapting further.
A couple of months later, the pain increases and you are left to wonder, what is going on?
You worked hard to create a comprehensive ergonomically correct workstation.
Your posture improved and you are doing everything right, but something is wrong.
There is a saying in chess that it is possible not to make a mistake and still lose the game.
In your situation, you did not make a mistake but instead discovered some unintended consequences.
Something in your physiology may be preventing you from achieving proper ergonomics.
The muscles and tendons in your lower back, hips, or shoulders may suffer from a chronic tightness that prevents your body from moving the way it should.
A curvature of your spine may be another culprit.
There are some other factors involved that buying ergonomic products alone cannot solve.
You make a smart choice when you decide to buy ergonomic equipment to improve your body mechanics, efficiency, and posture.
As good as an ergonomic desk is to use, it is most effective when used consistently and correctly.
As individual pieces of the ergonomic puzzle, the ergo products cannot defeat genetics or physics.
You can’t hope to defeat genetics; you only try to contain it. Start using different tactics within your usual routine.
Change positions, walking, frequent breaks, stretching, and strength exercises address those issues and help improve your posture.
Combining the proper equipment with these activities enhances your results of an ergonomic solution.
Be patient when beginning your new posture and reap the benefits of an ergonomically sound workstation.