Computer geeks love the time spent playing games, programming applications, and surfing the Internet, among other activities, because of the enjoyment it provides. But such geekiness has its price particularly in terms of good health. Studies have proven than prolonged sitting increases the risks for chronic degenerative diseases, metabolic syndrome, and even obesity.
Fortunately, you can lessen your risks for these health issues by adopting the following tips!
Take Care of Your Eyes
Eye strain is a common complaint among computer geeks because your eyes become tired from continuously staring at the bright monitor, reading the text, and viewing the graphics. Many vision-related issues like nearsightedness and farsightedness are the result of prolonged computer use.
- Take regular small breaks away from the screen. Stare at a brightly-colored object apart from the monitor for 20 seconds every 30 minutes; use a timer, if necessary.
- Use a doctor-recommended eye lubricant or eye drops to maintain moisture in your eyes. Dry eyes cause irritations.
- Install an anti-glare and anti-reflective screen on your computer.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes during computer use. The risks for eye disorders like macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic neuropathy as well as irritated eyes increase with smoking.
Tip: If you cannot stop smoking, then switch to vaping with the use of an electronic cigarette. Choose any of these top e-cigarettes like V2 Cig and Green
Smoke, which provide similar experience sans the cigarette smoke. (I finally found a V2 cigs discount code for 20% off so you can enjoy savings on your new computer habit)
Adopt Proper Body Posture
With improper body posture (i.e., slouching) during prolonged computer use comes a wide range of health issues. Think of chronic back pain, tired legs, and carpal tunnel syndrome, to name a few.
- Invest in an ergonomic chair for appropriate support to your back, neck and arms. Adjust its height and distance in relation to your table so as to ensure proper posture at all times.
- Train your body to adopt proper posture. Your feet should be flat on the floor, your knees forming a 90-degree angle, and your thighs parallel to the ground. Your back should be straight but relaxed while your eyes should be level with the top of your screen; tilt the monitor at a 15-degree angle so as to maintain optimal neck position. You should not reach over when typing, too.
- Use an ergonomic keyboard and/or mouse.
Take Regular Breaks
Avoid sitting for prolonged periods by taking regular breaks. Experts suggest breaks every 3 hours during which time you can:
- Perform body stretching exercises. Roll your neck, shrug your shoulders, perform air circles, stretch your shoulders, release body tension by doing a torso twist, do leg extensions to work on your abs and legs, hug yourself, stretch your back and shoulders, and cross your arms. Be sure to inhale deeply and exhale slowly during each exercise to get more oxygen into your body.
- Take a walk around the area as mild exercise.
You may also use a timer so that you will be reminded of your regular breaks.
Watch Your Food Intake
While playing computer games and designing applications can be so enjoyable that skipping meals become common, it should not be! Your body requires the right quality and quantity of nutrients for stable levels of energy and proper functioning so eating meals is a must.
- Never skip on your meals; use a timer or an alarm as a reminder. Eat healthy snacks in between meals preferably food and drink with protein, carbohydrates and fat like peanut butter sandwich with milk, yogurt with fruits, and whole wheat sandwich.
- Reduce your intake of caffeine and sugary foods because these can cause spikes (i.e., highs and lows) in energy.
- Drink plenty of water for hydration. Even a low level of thirst will lead to dehydration, which means lower level of body energy and brain function. Green tea without sugar is also a good choice.
Of course, you should also get at least 8 hours of sleep even when sitting in front of the computer seems the better thing to do.