There are many jobs where you spend a lot of hours sitting at a desk clicking, writing, reading. And as your laptop/computer become the tools of your trade you shouldn’t ignore your health, even though it seems working on a computer cannot hurt you at all. Well, try sitting at your desk, staring at the screen and writing on keyboard for 10 hours straight, then stand up and convince me that this does not affect your health (and that you feel ok). So here are a few tips that will remind you of the simple things you can do for your health when working with computers – so that your work doesn’t hurt you.
Things You Can Do to Take Care of Your Health When Working With Computers:
1. Get up, stand up!
It is probably the simplest one of all healthy computing habits you could think of. Yet, we forget about it all the time. What you need to do is get up from your desk every hour, and do a little stretching for about 5 minutes. Do a few sit-ups, try touching the sky with your hands, try touching your toes with your fingers. Walk a bit. Don’t let your spine muscles tighten and your spine get sore.
If you will remember about these simple exercises, you will drastically improve your health when working with computers in a few weeks. And, what is also important, it will be easier for you to concentrate, as these few minutes away from the screen will give your brain a “breather,” and consequently – some freshness.
Read also: Get Fit With Kinect Fitness Games
2. Sit up straight!
Another simple and obvious tip. But how many of you really take care of your back? I’m not talking about straightening your back every now and then – that won’t help you at all. Even if you’re sitting straight, but on a wrong type of a chair – this will not help your back. Here things get a little more complicated.
First of all, you need a good chair that fully supports your back. Sitting straight with no back support will cause more pain than leaning on a badly constructed chair. A good back support pushes the thoracic part of your spine, at the same time ensuring that every part of your back is supported. It is also important to get a chair with a high backrest, so you can fully lean on it (not only your back, but the head as well).
Read also: Ergonomics Examples in the Workplace
3. It is a monitor not a microscope
This tip is about your sight. How many times you caught yourself staring at the screen from a few centimeters away? You probably just wanted to take a closer look at something, and then realized you had been staying in this position for 30 minutes.
So, remind yourself to keep a “safe” distance from your computer screen. And what “safe distance” is? The further the better. 🙂 You can work having a monitor on another end of a room if that works for you, as long as you can see what is on the screen.
Also – don’t work with your screen directly opposite the sun or another source of light to avoid light reflections; these will hurt your eyes and may result in vision impairment.
Position yourself and your monitor in such a way to have a window to your side, and other sources of light arranged on the ceiling. There are studies shown that light emitted from computer screens may be disrupting sleep patterns, so try to minimize the time using a computer to as little as possible and also adjust your screen settings to ease your eyes.
4. Take care of your hands and wrists
Pain in hands and wrists can happen when you type on keyboard and use a mouse. The good news is, it can be easily avoided. One of the main reasons for the discomfort is putting your keyboard just at the edge of the desk, which means your wrists also have to lean on the edge or – what is even worse – remain suspended in the air.
Tips to take care of your hands/wrists health when working with computers :- Push your keyboard (or your laptop) away from the edge of the desk, so that your forearms could rest on the desk, and support your hands and wrist. Also, try not to put weight on your wrists and hands. This should eliminate the pain. You can do one more thing – while doing your hourly 5-minute exercise routine, work the hands as well.
5. Eat somewhere else!
I know. I do it too. And this can surprisingly turn out to be the hardest change to make. It was proven that eating while working at a computer is both unhealthy (can cause digestive disorders) and a simple way to gain weight. And this is something that you don’t want to happen.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance and bloating are just a handful of the disorders that you could suffer from while sitting at your desk. Many people who worry about their digestive health make the decision to take supplements to ensure that their digestion is at the best it can be. It really can help, but do you know what else can help? Going somewhere else to eat.
Simple, but easier said than done. When you’re focusing on a project, and spend many hours sitting and working, you almost automatically choose to eat without interrupting your work. Your hands may be busy, but you can still browse some websites or just check something online.
The only thing I can recommend here is a small steps method. Try eating pizza and all hot meals away from the desk. Leave the chips and sandwiches. Then, after a few days – get rid of the sandwiches, and then exchange your chips for water. Seems hard, but it can be done (currently I’m drinking like 5 glasses of water during work because of that method). You will feel much better after just a few weeks, especially if you’re taking the supplements too. And the food will definitely taste better.
Oh, one more thing if eating away from your computer is that, your computer will most likely cleaner and free from gunk, especially the keyboard which is an easy place for food to end up in there. This means less bacteria around and you don’t need to worry about cleaning your keyboard and computer all the time – try it and you will see!