With computers featuring so prominently in our lives, being glued in front of our monitors has long become a norm for all of us. Be it for work or leisure, the computer is a multi-functioning tool that many cannot do without. However, sitting for long periods of time in front of the computer may result in detrimental effects to the body. Students are thus advised to do the following:
1. Maintain proper posture in a good chair that supports your back.
- Keep your back straight with your shoulders back, and adjust your chair so that you are positioned level to the monitor. Sitting too high up or too low will result in neck aches from needing to tilt your head.
- Keep your legs bent at the knees, and sit with your legs uncrossed.
- Place your feet flat on the ground or on an elevation.
2. Rest your eyes!
Take a short break every 30 minutes or so by focusing on other objects in the room rather than the computer screen. This will help relax your eyes and promotes eye movements, which reduces the chances of dry eyes or headaches. Keep a potted plant by your desk if possible as greenery soothes the eyes. Performing your own eye massage is also a good option as it helps relax the eyes. Simply rub your hands together, cup them, and then place your hands over your eyes. Afraid you’ll forget to take regular breaks? Applications such as TakeABreak (http://byshynet.com/software.php?id=35) can be downloaded onto your computer to remind you.
Do simple stretching exercises for your arms, legs, neck, torso, or basically any part of your body and joints, to prevent cramping up. This can be done both while sitting down and standing up. Some basic stretches are illustrated in the photo below.
4. Drink water.
Keep a bottle or glass of water by your side and make a habit of drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will ensure that you do not become dehydrated, and will also allow you to become more alert.
5. Take a walk
Taking a walk occasionally ensures that blood circulates to your arms and legs, which may get numb from sitting in the same position for too long. Stand up to replenish your glass of water or to get some food. If time allows, take a short walk outside the building to catch some fresh air and enjoy the greenery. This will rejuvenate your mind and body, and help you focus better afterwards.
All of these suggestions may sound simple, but don’t forget to adopt these healthy habits the next time you’re seated in front of the computer!