The Relationship Between Pain and Productivity (And What You Can Do About It) 67


The following article is a guest post.

Does sneaking pain impact your productivity at work?

Common pain conditions have adverse effects on the quality and amount of work employees put in, including:

  • Missed work days;
  • Reduced work performance;
  • Negative attitudes and outlooks;
  • Decreased efficiency.

2003 study found that roughly 13% of the American workforce reported losing productive time (average 4.6 hours/week) during a 2-week work period due to common pain conditions including headaches, backaches, arthritis pain and other musculoskeletal conditions.

Additionally, when workers are taking time off because of pain or illness, they may be less likely to take advantage of true vacation days down the line.

A growing body of evidence is revealing that forfeiting vacation days is not only bad for your bank account, but for the economy overall, and for your health, oftentimes increasing risk for heart disease.

Productivity Tips for Tackling Pain

1. Watch Your Posture.

Want to avoid low back pain and headaches? Try sitting up a little straighter, especially if you work all day sitting down at a computer.

Slouching, slumping, crossing your legs, and craning your neck and head forward are common bad posture habits that lead to muscle tension, strain, and inflammation.

In fact, experts say that “forward head syndrome” from staring down at your laptop or smartphone screen could add 10 to 30 lbs of added pull on your back muscles, youch!

Tip: Sit on a stability ball or use a standing desk if you spend most of your working hours at a computer!

Take conference meetings on the go by asking colleagues to join you for laps around the office. And don’t forget to get up at least every 30 minutes from sitting for a quick stretch or jaunt to the water cooler.

2. Drink Enough Water.

Lots of coffee and poor hydration are a recipe for headaches and digestion pain.

So many workers hit the desk first thing and drink coffee until lunch followed by an afternoon latte. The caffeine in coffee acts as a diuretic and might make you go to the bathroom more, eliminating fluids that you’re not necessarily replenishing.

Healthy hydration with regular drinking of water can help you stay more alert and concentrate better.

Tip: Set specific times for drinking water, i.e. a glass each time you use the restroom, a full glass with breakfast and lunch. Keep a reusable water bottle with you at your desk to always have hydrating fluids at the ready.

3. Get Better Sleep.

The 6 Most Common Sleeping Positions (Backed By Science) and Their Implications For Your Health

Is your sleep quality dipping to a 3 out of 10? Oftentimes, sleep suffers not from insomnia but from old and sunken mattresses, not enough (or too much) pillow support, or staring at the blue light off devices like smartphones and tablets well into the night.

When you are sleep deprived, both your work suffers and you can experience fatigue, headaches, back pain, and more when trying to go about your day.

Tip: Set aside an hour of wind down time before bed where you take a warm bath, read a book, or listen to soothing music.

Invest in the best pillow for neck pain and a mattress that supports proper spine alignment when sleeping. And use an app like SleepCycle to help you wake up naturally in the morning when your circadian rhythm is in its lightest state of sleep.

4. Manage Stress.

Feelings of stress and anxiety that come with tackling tight work deadlines and putting up with complicated work relationships can manifest themselves very literally as muscle tension, tightness, and even headaches and back pain.

When it comes to boosting your productivity by eliminating pain, don’t forget about engaging in meaningful stress relief.

Tip: Use aromatherapy at work either with a diffuser or candle which gives off a scent, like lavender, that helps calm and relax you.

Practice deep breathing and intermittent meditation to help your body relax and focus on positive feelings. And listen to music that helps you work but doesn’t rile up your heart rate or put you on edge – classical guitar, for example.

Of course, if chronic pain is impacting not just work, but your exercise and activity levels too, seeking evaluation from a medical doctor is a must. The link between pain and productivity is a critical one, and when it comes to your work performance and your health, prioritizing natural pain relief will go a long way towards benefitting both.

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

What the Richest People in the World Have in Common 4

What the Richest People in the World Have in Common

Getting rich is something everyone dreams about.

For those facing financial hardships, getting rich seems the only way out to tide over shortage of money. For the bourgeoisie – the working class – getting rich conjures up visions of stuff they want to buy for luxury or higher social status. Millionaires also wish to get rich: they want to become billionaires and enter Forbes List of the world’s wealthiest people.

Unless you inherit a fortune or get lucky at lottery or sweepstakes, getting rich can be quite tough.

Yet, there are countless rags-to-riches stories around the world. Enterprises such as Amazon, KFC, Facebook or SpaceX have become runaway successes within a short span. The reason: their founders have several things in common, which is rare among other people.

Here we look at various traits that the world’s richest and most successful entrepreneurs have in common.

The Common Traits of The World’s Richest People

The Common Traits of The World's Richest People

1. Serving People.

“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it,” said John D. Rockefeller, who laid the foundation stone for America’s giant petroleum industry and his own enterprise, Standard Oil. The same adage holds good today.

Facebook, for example, was launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his roommate, Eduardo Saverin to allow Harvard University students to share profiles and pictures

There are countless such examples of ordinary people striking rich. However, they share one thing in common: serving people. The main objective of launching these enterprises was to make life easier or enjoyable for people rather than earning money.

2. Reading Books.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, celebrity TV show host Oprah Winfrey, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet and several other extremely rich people of the world have one more thing in common: they are avid readers.

Bill Gates reads at least 50 books every year – an average of nearly four and a half books per month.

Elon Musk owes his success at SpaceX, the project to open space tourism to his love for books and the knowledge he gained from them about rocketry. Oprah Winfrey attributes her success to dozens of books, including some 70 top titles she read on her way to success while Warren Buffet spends about 80 percent of his day reading books.

3. Long-Term Financial Strategies.

A report by CNBC states, all wealthy people depend upon long-term financial strategies rather than short-term gains. They utilized their earnings and savings to invest in safe stocks that would assure gains in the long run rather than indulging in risky trading that can offer high returns.

Such financial planning and decisions ensured they do not lose money. Further, they invested money in their enterprises without the hope of immediate returns.

These wealthy people first focused on building a brand, offering value for people to identify with the brand. And later, popularize the brand through word-of-mouth publicity, which is more effective than traditional advertising.

4. Never Say Die.

Yet another common character trait shared by the world’s richest people is, they are not quitters.

Like every other human on Earth, these wealthy folks also witnessed ups and downs in life. Some of these were so overwhelming most ordinary people would have called it quits and gone in search of easier ventures.

Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Bleckharczyk, founders of Airbnb, the world’s largest hotels and accommodations aggregator were plagued with financial problems.


Heavily encumbered with debts, bankruptcy was staring at these entrepreneurs in the very eye. Yet, they did not budge. They innovated their service that made Airbnb the world leader in its field today.

Another excellent example is Colonel Harland Sanders, whose recipe for fried chicken was rejected as many as 1,009 times before it was accepted. Col. Sanders is the founder of global chain Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC.

5. Accepting Criticism.

Most people flee from criticism of any sort. Rather than learning from negative comments arising out of their behavior or work, they take umbrage rather quickly. Yet, they do not bother to amend their behavior or work pattern.

All wealthy people, however, are different. They are willing to be criticized for introducing new ideas or thoughts.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, rightly says that those who will try and do something new must be willing to draw criticism.

Steve Jobs, founder, Apple, Inc. puts it in even stronger words: “If you want to make everyone happy, do not become a leader; sell ice cream instead.”

The success of Amazon and Apple proves their founders were right when it came to accepting criticism.

6. Out of The Box Thinking.

how regular life looks like and why it won't make you happy

Thinking outside of the ‘box’ or a typical mindset is often impossible for most people. Understandably, because everyone draws their mindset from factors and circumstances they are raised and educated in.

This mindset eventually becomes a formidable fetter for anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur. Generally, most people follow the flock and take professions they falsely believe as best suited for their skills. Others try to follow footsteps of their parents.

The wealthiest people in the world never followed flock or took lucrative professions of their parents.

Mark Zuckerberg’s father was a dentist and mom – a psychiatrist. Bill Gates’ dad was a banker father while his mother was a lawyer.

Despite coming from wealthy families, they chose to follow their passion rather than confine their thinking to the proverbial boxed mindset. Col. Sanders had lost his parents at a young age of six years and had to shoulder responsibilities of his siblings.

Other Examples of What The Wealthiest People Have in Common

As we can see, these qualities or personality traits are common to the world’s richest people. It sets them apart from others. Most of them launched small enterprises with the sole purpose of bettering the lives of people. Their products or services gained popularity because money was never their consideration. Widespread use of their technology, products, and services eventually led them to become wealthy.

These traits are not typical to the US or the western world, as one may mistakenly come to believe. A glance at some richest people in India and elsewhere also reveals, they share the same characteristics with their American counterparts. This amply proves that richest people around the world share something in common, regardless of where they live and flourish.

Another common trait that all rich people share in common is philanthropy.

Since childhood, they believe in giving back to the society and helping the underprivileged. They practiced charity when they were not so rich and continue to donate money for the betterment of the society even after becoming billionaires.

These richest people on the planet never waited to become wealthy. Instead, they were philanthropists since childhood – a trait most other people pathetically lack or try to foist upon themselves to gain popularity.

In Conclusion

It is not easy to become wealthy. Or everyone would become a millionaire. People who do make it to the top have a different way of thinking combined with an undying zest for learning new things and educating themselves.

They do not consider conventional learning at universities as the end of their education. Instead, they try and acquire new skills every day and find ways and means to become better humans rather than focusing on fattening their purses.

The world’s wealthiest people also share one common trait: they are not people pleasers, despite their generosity and willingness to serve the society. Because they know, trying to please everyone will get them nowhere and could mean possible failure.