Retirement. Once defined as “the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work” has a whole new meaning among today’s Baby Boomers. Retirement no longer has a period next to it and no longer signifies an end to being a productive member of society. On the contrary, according to second act or encore career guru Mark Freedman, for more than 9 million Baby Boomers starting second careers, retirement signifies a whole new beginning. Seniors today are in the prime of their lives; actively participating in sports, mentoring up-and-coming CEO’s, and putting their heart’s passion in motion by joining non-profit organizations faster than you can say rocking chair!
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
31 million more ‘retirement aged’ adults are planning their futures to include more than golf and gardening. Being productive, giving back, paying it forward, and helping others are top of mind among many retirees today. There is also the financial caveat in the retirement equation. For some, the constant increases in the cost of living coupled with the fact that people are living longer, active lives necessitates the need for a steady income; beyond income gained from pensions, savings, and Social Security.
Over the past 14 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics observed an increase in full-time workers, beginning at age 55, from twelve to twenty-one percent. Americans are choosing to stay in their current careers longer or are embarking on an encore career to supplement their incomes and help others while they’re at it.
The Benefits of an Encore Home-Based Office
Whether volunteering time to non-profit organizations, consulting in corporate America, or igniting a passion to provide a service to others through a start-up business; encore careers are often spearheaded from a home-based office.
Setting up an office as opposed to working at the dining room or kitchen table has many benefits. Not only will a designated workspace inspire greatness, provide a quiet and comfortable place to work, and offer an opportunity for tax deductions; an ergonomically designed home office may also help avoid maladies such as carpal tunnel and frequent trips to the chiropractor for shoulder, neck, spine, and back pain.
5 Tips for Saving Your Back in the Second Act
One might think setting up a home-based office ergonomically is a daunting task; however, there are many helpful internet sites available, such as Cornell University, which provide all the tips needed to design a back-healthy home office.
1.The first place to start when designing a home office is the desk chair. Don’t choose a chair by style alone or ‘borrow’ a chair from the dining room. Consult an expert to be sure you choose a desk chair that is fully adjustable to allow for ergonomic accuracy. A good, ergonomically correct chair encourages good posture, promotes circulation, provides comfort, and decreases pressure on the lower back, back of thighs, spine, neck muscles and vertebrae.
2.Consider a telephone headset to avoid neck pain brought on by continually propping the phone between your ear and shoulder while typing or writing.
3.Personal computers with a separate monitor and keyboard are recommended over laptops for reasons of adjustability.
4.Place the monitor directly in front of you. Avoid eye fatigue by looking away from the monitor every 15 minutes.
5.The computer keyboard height should allow arms, hands, and forearms to form straight lines at a 90 degree angle from the keyboard. The mouse should be on the same level, next to the keyboard.
Un-retirement is a time to embrace the possibility of a new adventure and fulfill your heart’s desires. Following a few, simple steps will ensure your home-based office is ergonomically sound and back-friendly as you move into Act II.