Work….between the interminable meetings and overflowing inbox, sometimes our job can get a little mentally taxing. It’s also pretty well documented how physically taxing it is–especially if it requires sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day. To avoid back pain, neck pain, eye problems and a host of other issues, try to make these eight easy adjustments to your routine.
PERFECT YOUR DESK SETUP
Where your computer is in relation to your eyes is super important. If you’re looking too far down, you could develop back and neck pain, and if you’re gazing upward, you’re likely to experience dry eyes. Use a computer stand or even a stack of books to position your monitor or laptop so that you’re only looking down at it at a ten-degree angle, max.
Drinking water is essential to good health, but in addition to promoting weight loss and better skin and higher energy, drinking more will force you to get up from your desk every once in a while to refill–and to pee.
RING THE ALARM
Every hour, set an alarm on your phone or computer using a plug-in like Workrave. Each time the alarm goes off, get up from your chair and do a lap around the cubicles.
AVOID THE ELEVATOR
If you work in a high-rise building, move on to the next tip. If you’re only on the second or third floor, though, try to take the stairs as often as possible. Similarly, if you drive to work, try parking a little farther away from the door. When you’re sitting at a desk day in and day out, every little bit of walking helps to keep your circulation moving and your muscles engaged.
WORK OUT AT YOUR DESK
Discreetly. We’re not proposing whipping out a set of dumbbells at 3 p.m., but try doing simple and under-the-radar but effective exercises like this ab-engaging desk-chair swivel that requires zero equipment and will keep your blood flowing.
GO BIG OR GO BLIND
Another computer trick: When you can, make like your grandma and increase your font size. If the text is too small, you’ll squint, which is the number one culprit of eye fatigue and headaches.
Duh, we all blink. But it turns out, if you’re working in front of a computer, you should be doing it more, since staring at a screen means you typically blink about a third as much as you do otherwise (another cause of dry eyes). Make a concerted effort to open and close your eyes more often, and eventually you won’t have to think about it. Also try to follow the 20-20-20 rule for looking at a screen. That means, every 20 minutes gaze at a point 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.
REST YOUR EYES
As tempting as it is to leave the office and go straight to a Netflix binge, try giving your eyes a break. Staring at a screen all day not only weakens your vision, but it could lead to a disorder know as Computer Vision Syndrome, an umbrella term for all of the eye problems staring at a computer for extended periods of time could cause. So yes, go ahead and keep up with the Kardashians, but maybe just watch one episode and then take a walk around the block.