Sitting at a desk, craning your neck all day is not the move when you have scoliosis. But, those bills ain’t gunna pay themselves and most people don’t have the luxury to not work a desk job or a physically active job, like serving or retail. So, let’s make the best of it.
1.) Communicate With Your Boss
Legally, they have to accommodate your requests, but in my experience, I’ve been shrugged off which usually ended in my letter of resignation because my back health is way more important than someone’s ignorance.
However, not everyone has the same situation and I have learned a lot about HOW to ask for accommodations. You have to know ahead of time what they can do to accommodate you.
You have been the one with the disability for your whole life, so your ideas of how to help are probably better than your boss’. Come with a list of what you need help with and consult about what is possible to do in the workplace.
Again, it’s about HOW you do it, so don’t approach it as commands or demands. Think of it as, “how can we both come up with a solution that works for everyone.”
2.) Stand Up Every Hour
This is probably the best accommodation you can ask for! Every hour get up from your desk and stretch it all out or maybe even walk around your office building once. Whatever your boss is okay with!
If you have a boss who’s all about “you’re on the clock, you have to work” try to look up your local laws about disabilities and see what they HAVE to provide for you. Another solution would be to offer that you can go around and ask employees if they want coffee or tea and make it for them! Play barista, stretch your legs, and even boost office productivity. Not to mention brownie points with your coworkers!
3.) Stand Up Desk
This might not be an option for some companies, but ask anyway. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no!
This type of desk can easily shift from sitting to standing in literally a snap! If you can get a desk like this, you can disregard the previous tip! lol
4.) Heating Pad
Offices are notorious for being chilly. Like I’ve mentioned in my guest article with Kronicles, “Surviving College with Scoliosis”, I mentioned that my fusion is very sensitive to the cold and starts to ache. This is an easy fix, however! Keep a sweater or a heating pad if your office is extra chilly.
Heating pads are usually plugged into the wall, so double check with your IT guy that you won’t short circuit the whole office! If he says, “no way”, go to your local store and buy those sticky heating pads that heat by oxidation instead! They are a one time use, but they last for hours and can stick on under your clothes!
5.) Keep Your Monitor at Eye Level
This is the BEST and easiest neck saver! Just stack a box or some books under your computer monitor to bring it up to your eye level. No more hunching over! Again, ask your IT guy (or girl) if you need help with this. He might even have a better solution!
6.) Schedule in Yoga During the Workweek
If you have the funds or gym that offers classes, take a gentle yoga class before or after work. That way you can force yourself to unwrinkle your back and joints through out the week and prevent yourself from worsening your posture and your condition.
You might even love it and look forward to an hour of zen and happiness everyday!
7.) Pick the Right Chair
If your chair is killing your back, ask coworkers if you can switch chairs or see if there are extras hiding somewhere! Remember to fiddle with the chair settings and adjust them to support your back. Another good option is to bring a small pillow for your lower back! Find what works for you!
8.) Sport Balms
For a quick fix, stash some CBD infused lotions or sports balms in your desk. If work gets busy and you can’t manage to take a break or switch your desk to standing, quickly rub your neck or back with the cream, take a deep breath, and get back to work!
Have a great weekend, y’all!
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