Sorry, computer related stress (CRI) will eventually harm you if you insist on slaving away non-stop at a computer for hours without a break. To make sure you can be more productive long term, you MUST pace yourself.
- For starters, you need to take a five or ten minute break from working about once every hour. Exercise, take a rest, or do something enjoyable during the break. Try and forget about the work you have been doing; fretting only contributes to muscle and mental strain.
- Massaging your hands and forearms several times a day will improve circulation. You should also massage your neck muscles to relieve the tension of keeping your head in one position for any length of time.
Work downwards from your head to your shoulders, pressing more firmly as you go on. You may want to rub in a small amount of good-quality hand cream or massage oil, as this will stop your skin becoming dry and sore.
- Try to work in a reasonably warm place. Your muscles must work harder if they become chilled, and are more likely to feel strain easily. Also, your hands will ache and feel weak after working too long in a cold or draughty spot.
- Do a few easy stress relieving exercises. Buy a stress ball - a huge variety are available off the Internet. Slowly squeeze the ball with your hand ten to fifteen times. Do this exercise frequently, as often as once every hour if you need to do a lot of computer work.
Another good stress releieving exercise is to slowly spread your hands out, making your fingers spread out as widely as they can. Then, slowly curl your fingers inwards until you make a loose fist. Relax then repeat this five times each hand.
Finally, let your arms dangle by your sides and gently shake them out a few seconds. This will help relieve muscle tension.
- While you are working, yawns every once in a while - with some jobs, this will come naturally! This will put more oxygen into your body because doing repetitive, non-active things causes your air (oxygen) intake to drop, lowering your energy level. During your breaks, 'charge up' on oxygen by breathing deeply and smoothly but DO NOT hyperventilate.
- Continual focussing at one distance (the screen) soon tires your eye muscles. So while you 're working, periodically look away from the screen every now and then and focus your eyes on varied distant objects. This will give your eyes a break from constantly focusing on one thing.
Don't be pressured! If anyone queries you easing off every now and then, show them this article and ask how they want you tomorrow - well and working or off with injury, seeing a doctor?
Healthy Computing 2006 and beyond!