May 2020 The WELLesley Employee
A Monthly Safety and Wellness Newsletter brought to you by The Town of Wellesley Employee Safety Committee
May is Mental Health Awareness and Employee Health & Fitness Month!
Please refer to April’s newsletter for many mental health resources
“Happiness” is a welcomed state, which always seems to correlate so nicely with spring. This spring, it may help to take a look at what happiness is, and how we can enhance it. Laurie Santos sheds some light on what can increase happiness and well-being during an interview with CNN Health. She is the psychology professor who created the hugely successful “happiness course” for Yale University. The course explores what drives happiness from a psychology and neuroscience perspective; as well as challenging students to implement behavior changes in regards to happiness and well-being.
During the interview with CNN in March, Santos talks about finding happiness during these unique times of social distancing. She indicates that although in-person social connections contribute to happiness, healthy practices and routines can also offer a means for happiness in our lives. Simple acts such as living in the moment and taking time for gratitude can make us happier.
For more about Laurie Santos, including a video on her tips on how to handle isolation through coronavirus, click here: CNN Health Link
You can also listen to her popular podcast here: The Happiness Lab, including the very helpful April 9, 2020 podcast: Coronavirus Bonus: Laurie’s Personal Tips
In addition, if you are interested in the happiness course, it is offered online for free through Coursera. Click here to register: The Science of Well-Being Course, offered by Yale
It’s great to do a yoga routine before or after work, but you could also incorporate some stretches into the rest of your day. Stretch breaks are especially important for people whose jobs require them to sit at a desk in front of a computer for long hours, which can result in back pain and neck pain. Just taking a few minutes to do stretches at your desk can relieve stress, increase productivity, and most importantly, make you feel better. Check out this 5 minute yoga routine.
Six Essential Ergonomics Tips for Remote Workers
1. Keep Moving
Even with the perfect office set up, you shouldn’t sit in a chair all day. Instead, take a break! Change your position, stretch, and adjust your chair when needed. Try making a change every 25-28 minutes. You can also switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.
2. Chin Up
Your head and neck posture are important as well. Keeping your chin tucked toward your chest can lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain. Instead, you want to keep your body relaxed. There are a few updates you can make to your ergonomic home office for your neck, including:
• Adjust the position of your monitor
• Keep the center of the screen at eye level. To keep your monitor at eye level, place your monitor on a surface to raise it to a better location.
• Use a headset
3. Rest Your Eyes
Take a break and look away from your screen every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds. Make sure your ergonomic office is lit well and without glare from your monitor screen.
4. Perfect Your Posture
Without realizing it, you might start leaning toward your screen. To avoid back problems, you need to improve your posture. Remember to sit all the way back in your chair. The ideal angle from your leg to back is 90 – 100 degrees.
5. Keep Arms Close
Avoiding sitting too far from your keyboard and mouse. Stretching too far to type can hurt muscles throughout your body. Keep your elbows comfortably close to your body core.
6. Reposition Your Chair
Finally, consider a comfortable chair that will keep you from leaning and straining. Your feet should sit flat on the floor. Use a box or a stack of books to rest your feet on if they are dangling.
Many people are spending more and more time with their tablets and smart phones, but these are not free of ergonomic stressors. Here are some things to remember when computing on the go.
• Texting and some other small-screen features can be hard on the thumbs. Limit typing time to no more than 10-15 minute sessions.
• Stretch often when spending extended concentrated time on your device.
• If you use a stylus, try to find one with a larger grip handle.
• Think about maintaining a neutral posture while on your device. You may elect to use something to support the arms so that you are not holding them aloft for long periods and/or maintaining a prolonged bent-neck posture.
Posture - https://ehs.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/ergo-awkward-posture.pdf
Stretching - https://ehs.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/workstation-stretching-routine.pdf
Workstation Ergonomics - https://ehs.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/ergo-workstation.pdf
Governor Baker has issued an Order effective Wednesday, May 6 requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition.
For more info on the Town of Wellesley’s mask and face covering resources, please click here