4 Tricks On How To Work On A Computer With No Harm For Your Body
Ever wondered that you can get scoliosis or repetitive strain injury of wrists because of sitting for too long? I’m explaining how to overcome them below, even if the job requires you to be best friends with your office chair.
Sitting harms your body — no matter if in front of a computer, TV or even while reading a book. It causes a bunch of health issues. It affects your blood circulation, can contribute to gaining weight, diabetes and even heart diseases. Scoliosis is another menace of all computer-workers caused by the wrong posture. According to this article in TIME, sitting can even shorten your lifespan.
Besides back, there’s also a menace for your wrists — a repetitive strain injury (RSI). It’s caused by repetitive physical movements (as typing e.g.) and poor ergonomics.
It first boomed when the popularity of typewriters surged back in the 20th century. RSI results in aching, pulsing pain, tingling and extremity weakness in your wrists or fingers.
Here are 4 simple things you have to pay attention to stay healthy if you’re working on a computer:
Adjust Your Workplace
The right posture helps blood circulate freely, it reduces tiredness, eye strain and also the risk to get scoliosis or RSI.
- Keep your back straight.
- Keep your wrists straight. An awkward position of wrists (or strain) increases chances to get the repetitive strain injury (RSI).
- Don’t bow your head while seating. Your monitor should be at the same level as your eyes. Adjust your screen-mount height to reach this.
- Your knees and elbows should form the right angle. Adjust your chair height to reach this.
Take Regular Breaks
Exercise and stretch regularly. It improves your blood circulation. Yes, it’s all about that!
You can combine exercise breaks with breaks for your eyes. I’m using a 20–20–20 rule to avoid eye strain and computer vision syndrome (I wrote about it here). According to that, I’m taking a break for eyes every 20 minutes. Every 3rd break (every hour) I also get up, walk across the room and do a couple of exercises from the cheat sheet below to keep the blood flowing.
I’m using a timer on my iPhone set up for 20 minutes. As I’ve mentioned in that article about eye strain, it took me just half a day to get used to breaks and feel relaxed about not skipping them. It’s an investment in my well-being, though.
I try to go through all of those exercises during the day. It helps avoid neck pain, back pain, prevent the RSI and keeps you fresh throughout the day.
I also normally pick places at least 10 minutes away from the office for lunch. It allows me to take a refreshing walk, burn some calories and take a breath of fresh air.
It can help you move more, as you’ll be going to the bathroom more!
All jokes aside: we may get a bit forgetful while staring at the screen. Don’t forget about your daily dose. You can use this hydration calculator to find out if you’re drinking enough.
As you barely move while sitting in an office chair, you don’t burn all the calories you’re taking in. It can result in obesity. Bad diet can also result in diabetes.
You can roughly estimate how much you’re burning with this calculator. Your daily caloric intake should approximately be equal to your burn. Otherwise, you may start gaining weight.
It’s also important to keep track of your sugar intake. Too much sugar can cause diabetes which is incurable. On average, an adult shouldn’t take more than 30g (7 teaspoons) sugar per day. A Snickers bar contains 47g sugar alone, for example.
I outlined 4 tricks that I found efficient to keep myself in shape while spending the whole day at a computer. They help me to stay not tired even at the end of the day.
They all require a very little effort from you. Just always keep in mind that it’s a long-term investment in your health and quality of life.
If there’s something else what you do to keep your body healthy, let me know. I’ll include it in the article.