Computers were one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. A machine that could do tasks in minutes that would take a worker several hours to complete was welcome in any setting. Nowadays, almost everything has been left to computers from analyzing stock markets, creation and dispersal of data as well as scientific and medical procedures. This poses a problem for office workers who now spend most of their working hours sitting in front of the computer. The human body takes a toll from sitting for long periods and with time it can experience neck and back problems. Here are some ways to stay on the computer for a long time;
- Stand up
Previously, almost all work was manually and you had to work while standing. Believe it or not this is healthier. Instead of sitting in front of the screen for long hours, take every opportunity you have to stand. An example is walking to coworkers to communicate instead of sending emails or IM or Skype. You can also conduct walking meetings to refresh your bodies and beat fatigue. It is also possible to work while standing. Inventions like the treadmill desk help you to do this. Working while standing has been proven to improve the wellbeing of the worker and reduce stress and fatigue. Complications such as back pain are also avoided. If you cannot access such a desk, place your computer on top of an overturned wastebasket or atop a printer. This forces you to stand to use the computer.
- Check the screen height
The screen height is very important and keeping the right height will save you strain on the neck and back. Regardless of whether you are seated or standing, the screen height (top of your monitor) should be level with your eyes. This means that you are looking down on the screen at an angle of about 10 degrees. If the screen is too high, you can get dry eye syndrome and if it is too low, you will strain your neck and back.
- Use a timer
A popular timer used in the office is the pomodoro timer which uses the pomodoro technique. They get this name because they are shaped like tomatoes (pomodoro in Italian). Set the timer for 25 minutes and wind it. Alternatively use your phone’s timer. Twenty-five minutes should be enough for you to focus on your work without losing concentration. When the timer goes off, take a walk or do some jumping jacks or generally take a breather. This will make you more productive and in the end you will have more work covered on the computer without suffering a burnout.
- Watch your posture
Throughout the day, working in front of a computer requires you to check your posture. Instead of leaning forwards and craning your neck, maintain an upright posture where your neck and back are straight. The head is fairly heavy and leaning forward puts extra strain on your neck muscles and shoulders to keep it in position. Sitting up straight means your head is supported by your shoulders and can stay in that position longer. Also, your upper arm should be vertical to the ground. The best distance to keep between you and the monitor is two feet.
- Use an LCD monitor
An LCD monitor is more forgiving to the user. If you are going to be looking at a screen for long hours, an LCD screen is better. LCD screens do not have a bright glare and radiation is also little. Alternatively, you can use a glare prevention screen on the monitor or buy glare reducing glasses which are popular among gamers. Avoid staring at the screen for long periods. Every ten to fifteen minutes, look away as this will save your eyesight.
- Use a stability ball
Unlike an office chair where you can remain in the same position for long, the stability ball engages your core at all times to keep your upper body straight. Your abdominal muscles get a much needed workout and you maintain good posture as you sit and work. A stability ball can be used in an environment where you can’t stand up often or walk around.
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