Productivity is more important than ever, and nothing destroys it more than mental and physical woes. One of the physical areas that can prove crucially important to your productivity is your back. You may not realize it until your first experience with serious back pain — and that’s when you discover how much of your life it can affect.
Here’s three big reasons why you’ll be more productive with a healthy back.
1. Bandwidth of the brain and voice
When you’re in pain, it’s hard to think about anything other than the pain you’re experiencing, and ways to make it go away. It’s an autonomic, automatic response that’s hardwired into the human brain, it seems: something hurts, and you need it to go away as soon as possible.
The problem, of course, is that your employer didn’t hire you to think about your pains, or spend your day trying to relieve them. And your boss certainly didn’t hire you to talk about your pain, which is a common response as well. It’s amazing how unproductive your brain and socialization becomes when you’re in pain, and how much more productive you are when you’re healthy!
2. More options
When your back hurts, you really limit a lot of options in your career, and put yourself in the road to even worse health, mentally and physically. Here are a few examples of how back pain might limit your options:
Perhaps your co-workers are planning to walk to the deli around the corner for lunch, where they’ll do some valuable bonding and socialization, but they may also discuss a few work projects that need extra attention.
If you’re stuck in the office because your back hurts in a way that makes walking painful, then you’ll miss out on the meeting and what gets accomplished there. Not only is that a loss of productivity in a way, it also might lead to the unintended additional consequence of losing productivity mentally, as you find yourself devoting mental bandwidth to wondering whether your co-workers see you as weaker or less valuable, since you’re in a condition where you’re missing meetings like the one that just happened.
Another scenario might involve the reverse: an inability to sit down. If your back is causing pain when you sit (which is very common, due to the compression of bones and joints when you spend a lot of time sitting), then you might be in an odd predicament that costs more productivity.
If you can’t sit, it’s less likely you’ll be able to type during a meeting, or access important files, in order to participate in the meeting’s most important topics. And just like the other scenario, you’ll lose productivity mentally because you’ll wonder if this will be used against you, when it comes time for raises and promotions.
3. Because it’s been proven by others
There are all types of studies about productivity, from mental issues to physical design of furniture in the office. A Steelcase Healthy Back Leap Chair, for example, was the subject of a study regarding its usage over the course of four years. A 17.8% increase in productivity was measured, as a result of using the ergonomically designed chair.
It’s been proven time and time again that productivity can be boosted by good furniture and tools, and lost by poorly-designed furniture and tools that lead to injuries and fatigue of the mind or body. So make sure to get yourself the type of furniture that’s good for your back, and you’ll probably find that you’ll be more productive as well!