Welcome to the corporate jungle, where survival of the fittest has taken a peculiar twist. There’s a new predator in town, one that hunts hunchbacks, not for their Quasimodo-like charm, but for their lack of it. My boss, the unanticipated posture police, has decided the office is now a spine-friendly zone.
The latest criterion to dodge the corporate guillotine? Posture. That’s right, the way we sit, stand, or slump is now being closely monitored. It’s a measure of our professional worth that no one saw coming. In an office where the only thing ascending faster than our stress levels is the pile of unfinished work on our desks, the boss has zeroed in on our corporate crouch.
Not Even Sitting Will Spare Me From the Fact That I’m Getting Older
If my posture were an opera, it would be a tragic one. A tale of a valiant knight (my spine) gradually succumbing to the evil sorcerer (the office chair). It’s the sort of posture that screams “I’ve been working on this spreadsheet for nine hours straight, and I’m starting to see pivot tables in my dreams.”
And it’s not like I don’t want to sit at my desk properly. The moment I stand up, I feel like a dormant mummy that just got enchanted back to life. My skeleton age reverts to the dinosaur era as soon as I sit back down; my knees make haunted noises when I walk; I know my posture needs fixing, but I don’t know if I have the time for it.
My age might be a problem, too. Sure, when you enter your 30s, you feel like life’s just begun, but your body knows your contortionist days are over. Drink one beer after work, and feel its aftermath for days; sit at your desk hunched over for several hours, and feel it for a week.
And yet, my passion for ergonomics ignited the same day I decided to become a professional yoga instructor – which is to say, never. I work in an office; I can’t be zen all day or look for solutions on how to sit.
Stand Tall, Even if the Only Thing Looking Up to You Is Your Laptop Screen
Until recently, I thought the worst thing I could do was accidentally hit ‘reply all’ on a confidential email or spill coffee on my keyboard during a caffeine-fueled work marathon. But, no. Apparently, hunching over my laptop like a tech-obsessed gargoyle is my professional Achilles’ heel. Who knew that the corporate ladder would be easier to climb if I just stood up straight?
Although I figured my spreadsheets required more attention, I’ve embarked on a mission to straighten up and fly right, because, after all – I don’t want to get fired or feel paranoid that I’ll get fired whenever I walk up to my regular desk and chair.
I’ve swapped my office chair for an exercise ball, and my regular desk for a standing one. I’ve even enrolled in a Pilates class and now sport a back brace that makes me look like I’m practicing for a long-distance moving competition.
My colleagues are following suit, and our office is starting to look like a showroom for ergonomic furniture. One particularly enterprising fellow has even imported a posture-correcting chair from Sweden that makes him look like he’s preparing for a space mission. It’s a sight to behold.
And you know what? Despite my initial grumblings, there’s something to be said about the effects of good posture. I’ve noticed I’m less tired at the end of the day. My usual 3 pm energy slump has become less of a nosedive and more of a gentle dip. And, miraculously, the chronic pain in my neck has started to retreat.
Your Spine Called. It Wants to Stop Being a Slinky.
It no longer feels like my body is trying to murder me or let me know I am aging poorly. It’s now telling me that all I needed was a better posture and the will to change – which is likely the tougher out of the two.
So, my boss was actually onto something. In his strange, roundabout way, he’s done us all a favor. He forced us to take notice of our bodies and treat them more respectfully. In a job where mental strain is a given, it’s a timely reminder that physical well-being is equally important.
Nevertheless, I hope this is where the eccentric performance metrics end. If my boss decides that the next person to be fired is the one with the worst coffee-making skills, I might as well start packing my ergonomic desk now.