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Have you read the grim news? The more you sit the worse it is for you.
Whether you work with a desktop, laptop, notebook, or hand-held computer, or some combination thereof, it’s too easy to fall into unproductive, energy-draining customs and postures. This is especially so when you sit for prolonged periods, fixated on a screen.
Here are some simple exercises you can undertake right where you are that will help to keep you on a more energetic keel:
* To experience an energy boost, inhale slowly through your nose, and hold your breath for two seconds, then exhale through your mouth. Repeat this often.
* To loosen up your shoulders and upper torso, using a wide circular motion, roll your shoulders forward 4 or 5 times. Then do the same thing in reverse.
* To stretch your neck, turn your head slowly from side to side and look over each shoulder. Count to three and then repeat the exercise several more times.
* To stretch your back, while seated (and with no one looking!), slowly bend your upper body between your knees. Hold this position for a few seconds, then sit up and relax. Repeat this exercise a few more times.
* To stretch the muscles in your forearms and give your wrists some relief, hold your arms straight out in front of you and raise and lower your hands, bending them at your wrists. Repeat this several times.
* To give your upper back and shoulder blades some relief, fold your arms in front of you, raise them up to your shoulders, and then bring your elbows straight back. Hold this for several seconds. Repeat several times.
* To relax your fingers and hands and make them feel more nimble, make a tight fist with your hands and hold it for several seconds. Then, spread your fingers as far as you can and hold for another five seconds. Repeat this exercise several times.
Better Eye Health
Another hazard of sitting.... Your computer, tablets and other screens are composed of pixels, dots of light that are bright at the center and dimmer at their borders. It is hard to read on your PC for a prolonged period because your eyes have nothing to "lock onto."
Common ailments people experience when looking at a PC monitor repeatedly include headaches, itching or burning eyes, blurry vision, fatigue, aching shoulders, and an aching neck. Gazing into screens for long periods of time, day after day, quickly adds up to eye strain, which directly contributes to a drop in energy. Eye strain is now the single most prevalent office complaint in America. One government study estimates 91% of people who use a PC for more than three hours daily, experience eye strain at one time or another.
Here are some simple exercises that can help you minimize or even ward off eye-strain associated with too much time in front of a monitor:
* Reduce any glare from the walls surrounding you especially if it reflects back onto your screen.
* Seek to match the brightness of your room to that of your monitor.
* Reduce surrounding lighting.
* Refocus your eyes on distant objects every few minutes, then turn back to your monitor.
Finally, blink often!
Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com
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