Most office jobs nowadays require the employee to spend extended periods of time on a computer. There are also many other work fields, outside of your typical office job, that also require the employee to work long hours on a computer. Today, it’s not uncommon for people to work remotely, on a computer, especially when their computer is the main tool for their job. Being able to do your work entirely from home, has a number of benefits. That said, those benefits do come with one cost, which is having to spend a lot of time sitting down looking at a computer screen. Which comes with its own set of issues, such as back problems, weight gain, and many other health related problems.
However, the good thing is that it is possible for those who work remotely to remain healthy. Without the requirement of someone supervising you, it gives you the ability to be more active, meaning, to stand up, move around, and stretch out your legs,
Below are a list of staying healthy tips for the average computer user.
1. Make Sure You Move Around Regularly
The main issues that people face while working on a computer are directly related to lack of activity and movement. So to counter this, you’ll want to get up and move around as much as humanly possible. You can set your own schedule, even set an alarm, which will notify you when it’s time to move around.
When it’s time, you’ll want to get up, and maybe consider going for a long walk, or doing some house chores, anything that will force you to get up and be away from your computer for some time. Even small tasks will help with your blood circulation, which in turn can health relieve strain on various parts of your body, such as your neck and back.
You also want to get in as much physical activity as you can in your day to day life. So make sure you are regularly exercising, and doing little things like walking up stairs, rather than using elevators, all of which are capable of improving your health.
2. Stretching Can Relieve Back and Ankle Pain
If your Achilles tendons are shortened it can cause chronic back pain. This in turn will inhibit your ability to work, adding more stress to your spine. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to strengthen your tendons, which in turn will reduce back injury.
First, stand at least 60cm from a wall you are facing. Learn towards this wall, then put your palms flat against the wall while ensuring your feet are fully planted to the floor.
Then you want to move one of your feet back, half the distance to the walk. While keeping your other leg straight by the knee. Make sure your heel is flat to the floor.
Next step is to bend the knee forward, along with both of your arms in a smooth motion.
Your back heel should be firmly planted to the floor, and your tail firmly tucked in.
Repeat this process for at least 20 seconds, then relax and switch legs, then repeat. Continue to do this at least 10 times.
3. Use Proper Lighting
Active, regular computer users want to avoid high-intensity lighting like lamps that are capable of casting shadows and making glare. Your best option is to use two dim lights on either side of your work space, as this will create a balanced level of brightness when you work.
4. Take Regular Eye Breaks
You may not be aware of this, but when you sit down and stare at your computer screen all day, it does put a significant amount of strain on your eyes. While your average computer screen isn’t particularly bright, it does emit light, which you are then forced to glare into, sometimes for several hours at a time. This in turn puts a lot of strain on the average individual’s eyes, which can, overtime impair ones eye sight, cause headaches and other related issues.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as there are things that you can do to avoid eye strain. Such as, every couple of minutes, take a couple of seconds to close your eyes, just so they can get a much needed break. You should also avoid staring at your computer screen, which is something many computer users are at fault for doing. Blinking is very important, as it helps to maintain your eye sights.
5. Use Computer Glasses
Computer glasses are glasses designed for people who work on their computers. Witch such glasses, it’s possible for you to stare at your computer screen from a distance. Computer glasses are designed to maximise your eyesight while looking at a computer screen. They are also designed to reduce glare.
6. Keep Office Space Clean
One problem that is very common for office jobs nowadays, especially those that require you to sit in front of a PC for the entire day, is the problem of bacteria.
When in your working space, on your computer system, any and all bacteria that exists on your hand, will end up somewhere on your desk. If nothing is done, that bacteria can and will build up. And after sometime, you may find that your entire workspace is infested with microbes.
The solution to this problem is to keep your office area clean.
Make sure to clean everything up, after you have finished with it, which goes for your keyboard, monitor, desktop unit and your office table. There are sanitation wipes that you can use to clear the bacteria, which in turn will prevent you from getting sick. You can also help by being hygienic and washing your hands regularly. Hand sanitizers is another thing you may want to consider investing in.
7. Adopt Good Posture While Sitting
Make sure your feet are planted to the floor while you work. If your legs are dangling free, it can adversely affect your blood circulation, which can result in backache, in the long run.
8. Keep Health Snacks Around
Working on your computer is not a physically demanding job. This means, you cannot burning up those calories, while you are typing away on your system. So the first thing you want to avoid, is eating junk food, while you do it. Eating foods that are highly processed, high in sugar, calories and fats will only have a negative effect on your overall health.
Eating is a necessity, so why not eat well. The best way to avoid eating bad foods is to not buy them. You want to have health foods that are high in protein, like nuts beef jerky, stashed around your desk. That why, when you do get a little peckish, you can pull something out and start eating it.
9. Use a Standing Desk
One option that many people don’t think about, that is able to you, is the standing desk. The standing desk has increased in popularity quite tremendously over the past couple of years, due to its promotion of a healthier lifestyle. The human body is not supposed to be suck to a desk for 7 – 8 hours per day. As this puts a lot of unnecessary strain on body, result in a lot of negative health concerns.
So why not opt for the healthier option of standing instead of sitting all day.
There are a wide range of these standing desks available in the marketplace, so I suggest you give them a look in, and find one that looks and works best for your needs.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website