8 ways to NOT die at your desk
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Photography: Al Ghazali

Is your job killing your back? Get off your a** and do something about it. Here are 8 easy tips and tricks to survive your desk job

Ah, 9–5s! They pay the bills, give us some purpose and inevitably bring us chronic backache. Sitting diseases are a real thing and are caused by *insert drum roll* prolonged sitting. If you’ve got a regular desk job, chances are you spend at least eight hours a day in a chair being inactive. Inevitably, you at the risk of obesity, chronic back problems, muscle degeneration, neck issues and other nasty ailments. We caught up with Damon Lye, the founder of ErgoEdge – a Singaporean label that crafts standing desks and ergonomic chairs, for easy and do-able tips to not die at your desk.

Tip 1: Holla to your work fam

Well, instead of emailing, texting, g-chatting your colleague from three rows down, stand up and walk over. Sure it will eat into a few seconds of your precious time, but the long term advantages on your back and posture are totally worth it.

Tip 2: Move everything away from you

It might sound and look odd but consider putting your office supplies far from you. Like share a waste paper bin with desk mate or place your filing cabinet past arm’s length. Stretchhhhh to reach it or better yet stand up and stroll over.

Tip 3: Walk the talk

Got a call? Take it outside. No kidding! Stand up or if your office is large enough, walk around for the entire duration of the call.

Tip 4: Fidget like you mean it

Remember how you were told not to fidget and sit still when you were a kid? Well, now we’re telling you otherwise. Much better than being frozen in the same posture all day, fidgeting helps avoid stiffness and keeps the blood flowing.

Tip 5: Standing desk and ergo chairs to the rescue

Bamboo-topped electric standing desk by ErgoEdge.
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Stand and deliver: our bamboo-topped electric standing desk by ErgoEdge. Photography: Fazli Jamil

You’ve heard our verdict of ErgoEdge’s standing desks and risers that are helping our back, helping us focus better and even breathe easier! But you can’t stand for eight hours a day, can you? We’ve got our eyes of ErgoEdge’s neat office chairs. They’ve got a few kinds including bar stool-esque ones to help you sit straighter and fidget more and the award-winning Capisco Series that’ll let you sit comfortably even backwards or sideways.

Tip 6: Exercise at your desk

Rope in your desk mates if you must. It takes only a minute or two every few hours to slip in a few stretches and chair exercises. And if that’s too much to ask, how about simpler exercises like stretching your neck side to side or shoulder rolls that you can do while simultaneously banging on your keyboard.

Tip 7: Ever heard of dihydrogen monoxide?

Get an app to remind you or the Google Chrome extension that pops up and says ‘it’s time to take a sip of water’. You don’t need us to tell you how historically magical water really is. But we’ll quickly list it anyway – it’ll help flush out toxins, ease cramps/inflammations, fight cravings, keep you feeling satiated, helps with alertness et al.

If you want to go a step extra, keep a smaller water bottle next to you. Frequent trips to the pantry for refills and to washroom totally count as incidental exercise – just saying.

Tip 8: Pack your lunch

No, we don’t mean tapao and eat at your desk. Tsk Tsk. Pack a healthy lunch from home, it’s good for you. Extra benefits: When your colleagues are out hunting for lunch, take a stroll around the office or outside (if you can bear the heat), squeeze in a quick stretch or a quick yoga class.

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