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How to Spend Hours at the Computer and Still Stay Healthy

How to Spend Hours at the Computer and Still Stay Healthy

Modern jobs can seem like dream jobs when you are first getting into them. When you compare a desk job to a job that demands physical exertion, it may seem that the health aspects of work go in favour of the people who don’t exert themselves physically on a daily basis. There are far fewer opportunities to get injured, and there is no physical strain on the body.

What most people who are new to these kinds of working conditions don’t realize is that there are numerous negative effects that prolonged sitting in front of a PC can have on a person’s health. The ailments of modern IT professionals and other desk workers range from physical problems to mental issues that these kinds of working conditions cause.

It’s easy to completely disregard these things at first, since it takes some time for the symptoms to develop, but if you don’t take action to prevent them, they can have a very serious impact on your health and your life in general.

Take breaks from sitting down

Your biggest enemies are the prolonged sitting sessions, which can have an impact on various health aspects. As your posture slowly deteriorates (if it wasn’t already bad before you even got the job), your joints start aching, you lose your flexibility, and you start to have less and less energy. These are just some of the things that can be caused by prolonged sitting, and this is how you can fight it.

Every time you take a break, whether you are taking a real break, talking to a colleague or just planning your next course of action, make sure you stand up, walk around, stretch out and give your body the time to recuperate.

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Exercise is a must

    Regardless of the fact that you strive to take regular breaks from sitting down at the office, you still need to have some physical activity in your free time. You can even do some exercises at the office. A lot of people who work in IT have hobbies and pastimes that are related to using tech. Whether it’s gaming, social media (via phones or PCs), or watching TV, these activities all include sitting down or lying down.

    This is why taking up some physical activity is a must. Start running or riding a bicycle. Jump on that treadmill or get a gym membership. Of course, you need to persevere at whatever you choose to go for so you can actually reap the benefits.

    Keep your health in mind at all times; this will allow you to boost your motivation. After a while you’ll realize that this isn’t something that you have to do, it’s something that you want to do.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a real issue

    Due to the fact that your mouse hand is constantly in the same position and making the same movements over and over again while you work, it is quite probable that you will develop carpal tunnel syndrome. You might experience problems with tingling sensations in your thumb, index and middle fingers, which are caused by the constant pressure on the median nerve.

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    You need to catch this on time and take steps to resolve it. There are remedies that can help you get this under control without too much trouble.

    You are what you eat

      Finding a good diet that fits your lifestyle can be tricky, but if you let yourself go and rely on the quickest and easiest meals, which usually ends up being fast food and other unhealthy options, you can get yourself in a whole lot of trouble.

      In a lot of cases, people tend to go overboard with bad carbs, fats and sugar intake, which puts a big strain on your digestive system and causes massive weight gain. Obesity can become a real issue, really fast. Furthermore, your cholesterol and blood pressure can go through the roof, which can lead to heart problems and other serious issues.

      Make sure that your diet is well balanced and that it fits in with the training regimen you opt for. Old habits may die hard, but you need to make the necessary changes and do the things that are good for you.

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      Get enough sleep, for God’s sake

      All of this will be for naught if you don’t allow your body and mind to get the rest they need to keep working properly. Even if you do everything else right, if you allow your hectic schedule to destroy your sleeping habits, you will not be able to make your health gains last. Not getting enough sleep means that you won’t have enough energy, that you will be easily irritated, and that you will lack motivation to get through your day.

      In some cases, people have legitimate sleep disorders that prevent them from organizing their lives properly. In other cases, sleep troubles are nobody else’s fault but our own. Make sure you are not stepping on your own toes with the decisions you make before you actually decide you have a sleeping disorder.

      There are concrete steps you can take to get your sleep pattern in order, and if you still can’t sleep after this adaptation period, consult your physician.

      You need to take the hazards of your modern desk job seriously or they can escalate into problems that are not easy to resolve. If you manage to get these health issues under control, you will improve the overall quality of your life and be happier and more active in your free time.

      Furthermore, you will be able to handle stress more efficiently and avoid allowing it to hit you where it hurts. The progress of your career and your decision-making abilities are also impacted by the state your body and mind are in.

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      Keep in mind that this is a lot to do and that the adaptation period may be difficult. Prepare for this mentally and don’t expect things to happen over night. The benefits are clear and they should be enough to motivate you in the beginning.

      If you think that you may waver in your decision, partner up with a friend, colleague or somebody else so you can keep each other in line when the motivation module in your brain fails to start up. Good luck!

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/box-business-celebrate-celebration-296878/ via pexels.com

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      Aleksandar Ilic

      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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