Thursday, January 29, 2009

Superbowl Sunday & the Spread Office

It's Superbowl Sunday!

And while I originally wrote Pitt 27 AZ 10 on the downtown whiteboard, it's never safe to take the favorite in the big game, so I'm now predicting
Arizona 16

Pittsburgh 9.

But the whole event reminded me of a topic around workplace ergonomics I've wanted to address for a while now. It's called the spread office. In college football, the offensive trend for years has been the spread offense. With it, offensive teams use formations that use the entire width of the field. The theory is that it spreads defenses thin in enough to create mismatches in places where talent doesn't match up well.

Many teams run it very well.

While we're not looking for mismatches in your office, the Spread Office does offer an opportunity to be more physically active in an otherwise inactive desk job.

Using the entire width, height, and depth of your office space (spread out) allows you to use your body more which will, in turn, increase blood flow, increase energy levels, and burn a few calories!

Here are my top 10 Spread Office suggestions:
  1. Move all filing cabinets to the far end of your office area. Place them conveniently out of reach so that accessing them requires either scooting over on your chair, or a short walk & squat.
  2. Place your desktop accessories (stapler, tape dispenser and 3 hole punch) atop of one of these filing cabinets. You will now be required to similarly either scooting over on your chair, or walk a short distance to access them.
  3. If your bookcase isn't in a fixed position, move it across the office floor as well. Place frequently referenced books, manuals and other documents in this 'remote' bookcase.
  4. If your bookcase isn't movable, place frequently referenced books, manuals and other documents into or within the most remote location (tall or wide) possible.
  5. Place your desktop calculator on the surface of your desk furthest to your right so that you need to rotate, at a minimum, 90 degrees to use it
  6. Place your inbox on the surface of your desk furthest to your left so that you need to rotate, at a minimum, 90 degrees to access it.
  7. If you have a desktop printer, place it behind your monitor so that you need to stand or reach around your monitor to reach it. If that's not a practical location, put it on a surface at at the physical end of the printer cable ... perhaps on top of one of your 'remote' bookcases. You may need to do some shopping, but you can get 25' printer cables.
  8. Put your pen cups/holders on a shelf above your desk so that you need to rise from your chair to access them.
  9. Upgrade your phone so that it can reach all corners of your office. You can get either a really long cord, or a cordless phone. Then, move the base or handset of your phone to a location that requires you to either swivel your chair, stand to access it. And unless you're typing on your keyboard during a call, take it standing up!
  10. Substitute a stability ball for office chair a few hours per day. They're under 50 bucks and can significantly improve your core strength and posture.

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