In our technological world, many of us find that for the most part of our days we are sat at a computer, typing, researching, emailing… the list goes on. For business, the computer has made some amazing changes and we are certainly much more productive than ever before. But what about the changes it has inflicted on us?
People have gone on a long road from essentially working the land in order to survive to inventing technologies that can do much of the hard labour for us. With the advent of these technologies, and further technologies making business so much easier to manage, we have found ourselves sat in front of screens all day, rather than toiling under the sun.
A sedentary lifestyle isn’t quite what we evolved for and for many people, back pain, dry eyes and weight quickly become issues. Though you may not be able to escape the computer entirely, there are things you can do to make your day a bit more pleasant and alleviate the symptoms you may be experiencing. All you need is a little bit of advice and things will get much better!
It’s no secret that concentrating on a computer screen gives you dry eyes amongst other problems. This is because when you focus on something, you are less likely to blink as often so you produce fewer tears to lubricate your eyes. Have you ever experienced your eyes suddenly welling up while you concentrate? That is your body saying, hey! You need to blink!
Even when you blink, you might find that your eyes are still feeling itchy and uncomfortable. You can use eye drops to help this and, of course, you can find the best deals online – check it out! Eye drops will help to lubricate your eyes, but some may also have anti-inflammatory properties that will help to relieve other symptoms.
You should also try to make some changes to your habits as well. Look up from the screen every so often and focus on the middle distance or look out of a window. This will help to relieve eye strain and will encourage you to blink a bit more too. And if your manager asks why you look so dazed, don’t be afraid to say that you are giving your eyes a quick rest. It’s a welfare issue after all!
There’s no doubt about it, sitting at a desk with poor posture all day will have a serious impact on your back. You might think that because you are young, your body will be able to deal with it, but no, even someone in their 20’s can give themselves serious back issues by not sitting well at work. A lumbar pillow might be a good idea, but often it is just remembering to sit properly, with a nice straight back that is the best thing you can do.
If you do find that you are getting back pain at work, it might be worth doing some simple exercises at lunchtime to relieve the stress placed on your muscles. You might feel a little bit silly doing them in the office, but this shouldn’t put you off finding a quiet space to flex and stretch given how much better you will feel for it.
If you are really struggling with your back at work, you should speak to your manager or an HR person to enquire about a better working station. It might be that you would benefit from an ergonomic chair or a kneeling stool. It could be that your desk should be raised a little higher to allow you to stretch your back and avoid slumping to see the screen. Even easier, you could just put a few reams of paper under your screen to raise it slightly. The solutions are everywhere and they don’t need to cost a fortune!
Another reason you could be experiencing back pain is how quickly you will start to gain weight when you are tied to a computer. A sedentary lifestyle isn’t just bad for posture, it also makes keeping fit more difficult and with the constant presence of treats in an office, your waistline could easily take a hit.
One way to ensure that you remain a healthy weight is to slowly reduce the amount you eat at work. This will take a lot of willpower, but saying no to a calorie dense cookie everyday equates to around 1000 calories over the week – that’s a morning’s calories! Another solution is to replace treats with healthier snacks like fruit and veg. This way you will continue to eat the same amount in volume but less in terms of calorie density.
The real issue is working out how you can get enough exercise throughout the week. If you have a gym near to the office, a quick workout at lunch or before or after work could be a good idea. The timing will be good and if you like, you could speak to your manager about extending your lunch and working a little later to fit it in.
If you can’t get to a gym, then your lunch hour is the perfect opportunity to take a brisk walk. You don’t have to go far, but just a turn around the block will get your legs moving, help you destress and will also do your back the power of good too.
Computers have made lots of things much easier and by now it is hard to imagine what we ever did without them. However, keeping on top of your general health can be more difficult when you are sat in front of a screen all day. Incorporating a bit of exercise into your lunch break is a natural way to move about a bit more, but giving your eyes a chance to refocus and lubricate is as important.
So the key to sitting at your computer all day? Finding ways to spend less time staring at the screen!