Your body is precious, don’t ever forget it. It’s important to look after it as you won’t get another one and I doubt we’ll reach widely-accessible, Terminator-style prosthetics in this lifetime. We spend about a third of our week working, often while sitting down and looking at a computer, which wreaks havoc on our joints, muscle, and spine. Look after your body by incorporating some ergonomic exercises and positions in order to stay on your game.
DOWN TO BASICS
It’s always important to remember the basics when it comes to ergonomics and posture. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor, look straight ahead while working, and keep your wrists straight.
TAKE A STAND
Getting a standing desk can also help improve your posture. Sitting down for eight hours a day isn’t good for your spine. Standing desks aren’t cheap, granted, but they are worthwhile. If not, try and find something around the house to prop your workstation up. And if you really can’t find anything, getting up to move around every once in a while works just fine.
PLACEMENT IS EVERYTHING
If you have a desktop then this probably won’t apply to you, but it’s worth rearranging your kit so it doesn’t put a strain on you. Sitting at a desk and looking down at the screen isn’t natural and can put you into a bad habit of slouching. Place your laptop on top of something when it’s on your desk – magazines, plastic tubs, or that mini keyboard your brother got you for your birthday which hasn’t left it’s box yet. It doesn’t matter. Get it to about eye level – i.e. the top of the screen should be level with your eyes.
You’ll need a bit more kit for this if you’re going to make it work but it is worth it. It’s going to be hard typing with your laptop perched on top of something, so it’s best to have a spare keyboard and mouse otherwise you’ll be in loads of bother.
LOOK ME IN THE EYE
Your eyes have muscles and they need rest and relaxation too. The general rule of thumb to prevent eye strain is turning your eyes away from the screen every twenty minutes. For twenty seconds look at something else further away. After that, try looking for things that are different lengths away from you.
Screen glare and lighting is also something to consider. Natural lighting is considered the best when working, but if that fails then ample lighting in the room is a must. Screen glare can be minimised by using blue-light blocking glasses, it’s better for your eyes and stops you from having difficulty sleeping.
Obviously sitting in a dining chair or slouching on the sofa while you do your work all day isn’t good for your back. An ergonomic chair is fantastic for providing support to your back even when you’re not engaging it. They are a bit on the pricey side, however. If you can afford it then great. If you can’t then don’t worry about it. Just stick to the other points and you’ll be fine.
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