If History Repeats, Tough Times May Spur Start-Ups; Relax The Back Offers Advice For a Healthy Home Office

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As Wall Street careens and unemployment rates exceed 6 percent, there may be some good news: economically troubled times are often good for entrepreneurs and may be the best time to start a new business. Healthy home offices are crucial to prevent pain and control a new company's medical costs.

As Wall Street careens and unemployment rates exceed 6 percent, there may be some good news: economically troubled times are often good for entrepreneurs. In fact, USA Today recently advised: "A recession may be the best time to start a new business." Indeed, given that Disney and Microsoft were founded during recessions, there is plenty of reason to hope.

As entrepreneurs don new hats (i.e. HR Director, Chief Purchasing Officer, CFO and CEO), they should become fluent in the language of ergonomics and the creation of a healthy home office. Good ergonomics prevent pain, repetitive stress injuries, strain and fatigue.

Ergonomics also help control a new company's medical costs. "The kitchen table and chair were designed for a 20-minute meal, not seven hours of work," says April Vance, a licensed physical therapist and owner of two of the 120-plus Relax The Back stores operating nationwide. "Ergonomic research shows us that with proper equipment, we work more efficiently so more tasks get done."

"Most people don't give one thought to a chair they are sitting in while they work, yet they will spend years of their lives molded to that piece of furniture," says Dr. Mark McLaughlin, MD, of Princeton Brain and Spine Care. McLaughlin adds that a "well-balanced, ergonomic chair at work is one of the best preventative interventions one can do for their spine."

With that in mind, Relax The Back offers this checklist for creating a healthy home office setting, from choosing the right chair to lighting the space correctly:

  •     Technology has eliminated the need to get up and walk about, but the body still needs activity. Choose an office chair that encourages movement. Chairs should also recline slightly and feature adjustable settings. Quality office chairs can cost $700 or more, a worthy investment for the entrepreneur often facing seven long workdays each week.
  •     Position computer monitors correctly. Position the top of the monitor so the topline of your text is at or slightly below eye level. Notebook (or laptop) users need to position monitors correctly to avoid "laptop slouch." Ergonomists also advise against working on notebooks while reclining on a sofa or chair.
  •     Avoid pressure points. Focused pressure on specific points of the body can cause circulation problems, and even nerve damage. Achieve the right keyboard position - the source of many pressure point problems - with an adjustable keyboard holder that offers negative tilt adjustability.
  •     Light it right. Poor lighting can lead to eye strain (the #1 office complaint) and also leads to back and neck pain. Rather than using an overhead light, install lighting that can be adjusted to each task.

About Relax The Back
Relax The Back is North America's largest specialty retailer of ergonomic and comfort products. The company operates over 120 franchise locations throughout North America; franchise services are provided from a Southern California-based headquarters. Relax The Back offers a comprehensive line of products to prevent and relieve back pain through proper spinal support and alignment including ergonomic office chairs, Tempur-Pedic mattresses and pillows, back and neck supports, massage chairs, fitness and therapy products, and Zero Gravity recliners. Information about the company and its products can be found at http://www.relaxtheback.com.

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COLLEEN TROY
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