Jodi had tried to find ergonomic solutions on her own.
“This is really the first job I have had where I am sitting this much. And you know I noticed over time, the sciatica (new window) on my back would flair up. My back was getting stiff and I was getting more migraines (new window),” she explains.
Her organization had wanted to help. They had purchased standing desk converters, allowing its employees to adjust their workstation so they could stand. However, with a staff of 26, they could not afford one for everyone, and employees like Jodi had to share the three they purchased.
“[We] moved them from month to month for people who wanted them. I was able to try that for a month and I noticed that that really helped me,” Jodi says.
With the pain increasingly affecting her ability to work, she needed a permanent solution.
“I was missing work due to migraines. They were getting so bad, I would miss days. I used up all my sick time, and still had to take time off with no pay,” she shares.
With the help of her employer and Technology@Work funding, she was able to get a sit/stand desk, an ergonomic chair, a vertical mouse, a keyboard, and a monitor arm. Once her workstation had been assembled, a Neil Squire Society occupational therapist showed her how to use her equipment at her workplace in Penticton.
“I called back my case manager [at the Neil Squire Society] and asked if somebody could come out and assess me and make sure I was using the equipment properly,” she says. “I wanted to make sure I was using the right level with the table. The chair has many different settings and I wouldn’t have even known about some of them. It wasn’t very long after my equipment was set up that the OT came to help me.”
She began to see “dramatic” results.
“Since then, I have noticed a dramatic decrease in my sciatica and migraines, it’s been amazing,” Jodi explains. “It actually allows me to do more work. I used to go for little walks around the office just to stand up. But now I don’t have to do that as much, because now I can just stand up as I am working.
“[It] makes me a better worker and happier,” she concludes. “And it was something I wouldn’t have been able to afford on my own. So I am really grateful that this program exists.”