More and more of us are spending most of the day in front of a computer. All this time looking at the computer can have a real impact on your health and, without the proper support, there could be long term consequences too. We’ve all seen the pictures of what we might look like by the time we retire or how humanity could evolve and it’s genuinely scary.
Now that more people are working remotely, this is a good time to examine how you work and what is best for you. For many people, the realization that their chair at home is better or that they are more comfortable in a particular light has a significant impact. This is the moment that employees and employers alike should be considering the future of work – the where and the how.
So what should you consider?
Working in Comfort
Back problems and eye strain are classic symptoms of long hours in front of a screen. Many people experience headaches and tiredness as a result but you may also have tingling sensations and a bad mood too!
Let’s deal with eye strain first. Experts have created computer glasses to help people focus on screens that also reduce exposure to harmful blue light. A bit like reading glasses, these glasses are designed to bring a computer screen, which is usually a little farther away, into focus without making you strain. You should also take a few minutes each hour to stare off into the distance to allow your eyes to relax.
Back problems often come from sitting in a poorly designed chair for far too long. The first thing to do is to make sure that your chair is suitable for you. Even ergonomic chairs can be problematic, especially if you are shorter than 5’2”! But no matter how tall you are, the best way to sit in a chair is to have your feet comfortably flat on the ground (or possibly a stool), your back straight but not tense and whatever you are looking at should be at eye level.
Even with the most comfortable setup, you should still take regular breaks. Going for a walk in your lunch hour is ideal as this will get your body moving and prevent your muscles from seizing up. Walking is exceptionally good for your back as it is low impact and you can do it anywhere.
You might also like to think about whether you really need to spend so much time at the screen. You might find that some activities can be done with a pen and paper or through other techniques. When you take a more creative approach, you might even find you have more innovative ideas.
But let’s also consider what you do at home. If you get in from work and then spend the evening in front of the TV or yet another computer, you might like to think of alternative things to do, at least a few nights a week. Mix it up!
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