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Stay Healthy While You Work

Posted Aug 04 2008 7:14pm

Let’s face it, many of us are not independently wealthy so working is not an option.  Staying healthy should not be an option either and should not be compromised because of our work schedule.

Today I will concentrate on those that work in front of a computer monitor 8 to 12 hours per day.  Many ofthe suggestions that I mention can be adapted to any type of work that you do.  The first thing to understand is that you must remember toeat.  No, eating is not an option either.  Because you may work many hours in a fixed position you can not forget to take time out to eat.

The foods you choose should be healthy and some examples are listed below:

  • Always have water handy, your body requires water to function properly
  • Healthy Snacks such as fruit, crackers, cheese, yogurt, granola

Exerciseis important, especially went sitting for long hours.  It is important to keep your body moving.  There are times that we will forget, especially if we are very involved in a project.  In order to remember, use a timer and set it to 30 minutes.  Every 30 to 45 minutes, take time to stretch your body.  Stand up stretch your back, arms and legs.  This will help the circulation in your body as well keep your muscles from tightening which will only create more problems.

Which leads me toergonomics.  It is very important to have your computer at a certain height as well as the proper chair andwrist pad, etc.  If you work on a desktop, your head should be level with the screen.  You do not want to be lower or higher which will create stress and tension in the neck area.  You also want achairthat will keep you upright and support your lower back.  When sitting remember to keep you bottom all the way to the back of the chair.  Many times we tend to sit midway in the chair and will create stress to our lower backs.  Wrist pads help you have a desktop to keep your wrists level with the keyboard, this will prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and sore wrists.

If using a laptop the same applies.  Find a location that will keep your head level with the screen.  It is difficult to use a wrist pad or support with a laptop but if you find yourself having pain in the wrist area, there arekeyboardsthat can be purchased separately to help aid in this condition.  If working with a laptop, it is convenient to work on your bed or a couch.  It is important to obtain alapdeskor place your laptop in an area that will still maintain your body in an upright position.  This will prevent sore shoulders and neck and ultimately prevent headaches.

When working for long hours in front of a computer screen it is important to not only take breaks to stretch your limbs but also take mental breaks.  It is important to take mental breaks through out the day.  Relax and try breathing techniques, to relieve stress.  Talk a walk to stretch and relieve any mental buildup.  It is best to work productively when we keep our bodies, mind and overall health in mind.

Remember we have but one body and we need to take care of it.  It is important to be aware of the signs and signals our bodies give us.  Take time to relax and breath.  Nothing is that important to neglect your health.

Until next time,

Dr. Daisy

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