A sedentary lifestyle could cause a lot of problems. In another article potential risks of sitting too long are presented. People who work with computers and/or spend all free time on the desktop are endangered. Potential risks are real: obesity, cancer, diabetes, decayed eyesight, back pains. Summing up hours in a long-term may cause health damage. Checkup these tips and examine if your work environment is correctly set.
Proper Workstation Setup
#1 Sitting posture. Proper posture is important, so that you don’t impose undue stress on your body. For example, the best sitting angle is between 120 and 135 degrees, as shown:
Feet should be horizontal on the floor. Top of the monitor should be at eye-level. These simple rules result in less amount of stress for the body.
#2 Standing desk. Standing desk improves a lot the body posture. It is also a great way to relieve stress and keep in good condition. A person, who is just mildly a ‘physical’ type, could feel oppressed if forced to stay all day sitting. A standing desk could have both mental and physical benefits. There are many sources investigating on this. Merits of the standing desk, building a cheap standing desk from scratch, list of standing desk designs.
Minimize Eye Strain
Sore eyes is something everyone ever worked on a computer has experienced. Tired and dry eyes are bad for the eyesight in the long term and may also impact other health aspects.
#3 Correct ambient lighting. Bright sources of light, especially coming backside of the monitor and a high contrast between the monitor light and background are to be avoided. Artificial fluorescent lighting is better to be replaced with other lighting type.
#4 Optimize screen settings. The screen brightness should match the ambient lightning brightness. A simple test is – look at a blank white screen. If it is too bright, reduce it. It might be also the opposite case – lighting too low. There are few apps for screen-related eye strain.
#5 Eye blinking. Working on a computer involves attention to an extent that we may forget blinking. This causes dry eyes, blurry vision and might get worse. If a person uses eye drops to relieve that, be sure the drops are for lubrication, not red eyes. Consult a doctor if there are side effects.
Work could absorb your mind in such a way, that you forget you are on the computer. Suddenly you feel tired, empty minded, but you stay on the computer even longer… The best way to fight it is taking regular breaks.
#6 Blood flow. Stand up and get moving. The blood will start to circulate in your body. This improves your condition overally. It is recommended to do that every 40 minutes, or at least once in an hour. Go for a walk: to the restroom, to the other room, or just stand up and move around.
#7 Refresh mental clarity. This is also a kind of a break. A helpful way to keep you functioning and avoid mind exhaustion. Every twenty to thirty minutes look out of the window, make a short conversation if appropriate. You can close your eyes as well, but don’t fall asleep!
#8 The pomodoro technique. A system of short breaks with longer periods of work. Each working period has it’s goals and metrics, so this is also a great productivity tool. An integral part of the system are the breaks, which keep you fresh.
#9 How to relax. A break is not a break if you are still thinking about what you need to do. The purpose of the break is to relax. It means – clear your mind and release the tension. There are online tools which could help, but I guess the best way is to stay away from the computer.
All these tips are not easy to implement overnight. You cannot change your lifestyle completely, especially if all this is new for you. Pick one or two of the tips and gradually apply them until you turn them into habits. Then proceed on and enjoy a better health.