With so many of us spending hours on end at our computers these days, it’s no wonder we have body pains and health issues. Here are some excellent tips to help you stay in better “computer health”.
- Beware the strain of working 8-hour days. Eye strain, soreness, visual fatigue and headaches can all result from a computer screen set at an uncomfortable height or angle. You can avoid these 21st century work-related hazards simply by adjusting the position of your screen. When sitting comfortably and looking at the screen, your eyes should ‘land’ at the top of it. If they don’t, you’re likely to experience eye related difficulties later on. You may find it easier to re-position your chair, rather than the computer. Arrange the screen at 90 degrees to your desk, to minimize reflections from ceiling lights and/or high windows. Take regular breaks. Fatigue and stress aren’t helped by the bright light given off by computer screens. Spend at least 5 minutes every hour doing non-computer work. This will rest your eyes.
- Stretching your ankles could ease chronic back pain. Shortened Achilles tendons can cause chronic back pain. They prevent you from walking well, putting stress on your spine. Here’s how to relax and strengthen your tendons, reducing the risk to your back. Stand 60-90cm away from a wall, facing it. Lean towards the wall, putting palms flat against it with both feet on the ground. Move one foot half the distance to the wall. Keep your other leg straight at the knee, with your heel flat on the floor. Now, bend the forward knee and both arms slowly and rhythmically. The back heel must be kept on the floor and the tail tucked in at all times. Continue for 20 seconds. Relax. Change legs and repeat ten times.
- Avoid backache by sitting properly at your desk. Keep your feet firmly on the floor when working. Dangling legs affect your circulation, create bad posture and lead to backache.
- Avoid computer-related hand and wrist injuries. Do this simple exercise every morning before work. Hold your arms out straight in front of you. Lift up your hands at 90 degrees, and spread your fingers. Hold for five seconds, lower, and relax. Then clench your fists, and lower your wrists at 90 degrees. Hold for five seconds, straighten, and relax. Repeat ten times, and repeat at lunchtime, just before starting work for the afternoon.
- How leaning on a wall beats back strain and injury. This great daily exercise only takes a few minutes. It helps re-align the muscles in your back, to help undo the strains of everyday life. Stand with your back against a wall, with your feet 14-20cm (5-8 inches) away from the skirting board. Now try to flatten the small of your back against the wall, by pulling in your stomach muscles. Do not bend your knees. Hold this position for five seconds, then relax and repeat five times. Keep breathing regularly and evenly throughout.
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