Whenever I go to the optometrist they ask me how many hours a day I spend looking at a screen and I am always ashamed of my answer. Let’s face it, we all spend the majority of our day on the computer, staring at our phones, watching t.v. or reading on a tablet. It’s not like we can help it, both work and play involve a lot of screen time. In order to counteract some of the negative effects of sitting at a computer all day, try forming these good habits.
#1 Monitor Your Screen Height.
Your computer screen should be level with your eyes and you should only look down about 10 degrees to view the screen. If the screen is too low, you’ll move your head down and that causes back and neck pain. If the screen is too high, it can cause dry eye syndrome.
#2 Stretch it out
Do you find that your back and neck always start to hurt a few hours into the day? Take a stretching break! Your body needs to release the tension caused by sitting all day, so take a few minutes every couple of hours to stretch a little. Once an hour would be ideal, but we both know that’s not going to happen.
#3 Sit right
One of the reasons you start to feel uncomfortable after sitting for an extended period of time is because of how you are sitting. When you are at your desk make sure you are not leaning forward, your shoulders are relaxed, your arms are close to your sides, your elbows are bent at 90 degrees, your lower back is supported and your feet are flat on the floor.
#4 Drink more, walk more
I don’t need to tell you that drinking a lot of water every day is good for your all around health and wellbeing; you know this already. But did you know that it can force you to get moving at work? By drinking a lot of water throughout the day not only will you need to get up for refills, you will have to get up to use the restroom. This may seem time consuming, but the busier you are, the less likely you are to get up and walk around without being forced.
It might not always be possible to leave your desk to walk around, so in that case try and stand at your desk. Certain activities like phone calls or brainstorming can easily be done while standing and without zoning out at you screen. If you really want to up the ante, work from a standing desk. Your back and neck will thank you.
#6 Stop craning your neck
When really focused on what you are working on, it is easy to crane your neck forward while staring at the screen. Stop doing this immediately. Try to become more aware of your posture and lean away from the computer. You will feel so much better if you do.
How do you deal with sitting at a computer all day? Share your tricks with us!
By Jacqueline DeMarco