Since the ancient Greeks, we have a saying that a healthy body has a healthy spirit – that is, physical activity can have an extremely positive impact on the physical and mental health of an individual. However, many people continue to just sit while working on a computer, or just lie down after returning from work – where they spend most of their time in a sitting position.
This lack of movement during the free time has become an everyday thing for many of us. And it is this everyday life that can have bad consequences on our health in the long run. And it takes so little to fix it. And that little bit is a physical activity that you can practice even while working at the computer. No, it’s not hard at all. On the contrary, it can be extremely fun.
The Impact Of Computers On Our Health
In the last three decades, computers have significantly changed not only working but also the living environment of man – simplifying, and accelerating different types of tasks in various fields. However, this advancement in technology has also led to the emergence of various health problems in people who use computers. Few people fully understand how hard computer work is for our body and how great its impact is on our physical and mental health.
Whether you are working on a computer inside or outside the workplace – when we talk about the impact of computers on health, the following questions arise: What are the potential health problems that can occur when using a computer? What factors influence the appearance of health problems? How can I work safely on my computer? There are many questions, but one more thing is important: You can work on the computer and stay active. Just a little effort will be quite enough.
Potential Health Problems Associated With Computer Work
Health problems associated with working on a computer can be divided into four basic groups:
Physical discomfort, pain, or injury
Working on a computer can lead to problems with muscles, connective tissue, tendons, joints, bone structures, circulation, nerves, and skin. The symptoms that are described sometimes have the medical name of the disease, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, etc. However, more often general descriptions are used – such as occupational overuse syndrome, etc.
Recently, the descriptive term gradual process injury has often been used. Within these health problems, computer users complain of pain, stiffness, weakness, a burning sensation, and discomfort in the arms, neck, or back. Computer users often report that these symptoms worsen during the working week and that the symptoms decrease on weekends or holidays.
Visual disturbances and changes in the eyes
According to experts, 70 to 75% of those who work or sit at a computer have a vision problem. This condition is called computer vision syndrome. Although, for now, there is no reliable evidence that the use of computers leads to permanent damage to the eyes, these symptoms can be a significant problem.
As part of the computer vision syndrome, visual disturbances may occur in terms of difficulty focusing, changes in color perception, sensitivity to light, and a feeling of the flickering text. There is a frequent feeling of dryness, redness, itching, tingling, increased tearing, a feeling of heaviness in the eyelids. Contact lens wearers often have a foreign body sensation in their eyes.
Stress can be defined as an event or circumstance that leads a person to the perception that the physical or psychological demands he has before him will exceed the limits of his abilities. Symptoms of stress include irritability, physical pain, problems with concentration, sleep, inability to relax, fatigue, depression, anxiety, difficulty in logical reasoning, and decision making. Stress can occur to computer users at work, but also in other situations.
Computer users most often complain of physical fatigue, which results in pain or discomfort in some parts of the body. Mental fatigue occurs when working on a computer for a long time – or if there are short deadlines for performing a work task or the work task is complex. Emotional fatigue most often occurs in a situation when mental fatigue is present – that is, in the case of a feeling of insecurity, or some other emotional state or reaction that may occur.
A Little Physical Activity Means A Lot
There are many light exercises that you can do in your home or at work. They don’t last long, but they mean a lot. Before you start any exercises, it is important to stretch first and thus prepare your body for physical activity and prevent potential stretches or injuries. If you have a Pilates ball, it can also be great for certain arm exercises as well as squats. If you don’t have any of the additional exercise equipment, don’t despair – because we have a few suggestions on how to stay active while working on the computer.
1. Stretching the legs and lifting the hips
Even though you sit at the computer all day, you can always do some of the exercises for different parts of the body. Due to continuous sitting, people who work at the computer suffer the most from the legs, hips, and spine. The hips carry the weight of the whole body – and they are heavily under pressure.
Legs, if they are constantly in the same position – will feel the problem of poor circulation – while the spine is exposed to dangers such as deformation due to improper posture. Therefore, you can do light exercises while sitting. This includes, for example, lifting the hips, an exercise in which you raise only the hips with the legs bent at the knees – while keeping the body in a straight line from the shoulders to the knees. You can also take a step forward. It’s also a great idea to practice with certain high-tempo music, which can be a great extra motivation!
2. Using a massage gun
Disorders or problems in the legs, arms, and shoulders that most often occur in long-term computer users – are cramps or tingling. Most massagers have options through which the points on the feet are stimulated, depending on which organ is in trouble. However, when none of the specific options are included, then the feet or shoulders are massaged as a whole – and that massage eliminates unpleasant tingling you may feel.
In that case, you can use one of the massagers. Many of them are very good for massaging the back, or legs, but also the shoulders. Also, there are so-called massage guns. According to healsage.com.au – they will provide you with a good relaxation therapy for your sore muscles. With this device, you massage and supply your muscles with the oxygen you will need.
3. Set up a timer
Give yourself time to take a break from work and stretch. The best way is to walk in the fresh air. This will compensate for the oxygen, and walking is the best form of light physical activity. But due to work you often forget that? You are not the only one. Therefore, we suggest that you install one of the applications with a timer that will remind you that it is time to walk and take a break. When the timer reminds you, take a walk in the fresh air, or at least in the office – and try to stretch a little to stretch your muscles.
4. Indoor bicycle
This is a great way to exercise. Take a break and ride an indoor exercising bike in your room or office. If you don’t have the conditions for something like that, it is not a problem. There is also a small exercise bike that is easily placed under the table – and while you are working on the computer, you can exercise at the same time. Simply pedal with your feet and work at the same time. Your feet and blood circulation will thank you.
Even if you are at work in the office, no one will hold it against you if at some point you stretch a little bit. You can do this in many different ways, but you must do this several times during the day. For example, you can do simple stretching exercises such as raising and lowering your shoulders, stretching your neck left and right, or lifting your legs. It is important that if you work on a computer or any other job that requires sitting in an office – this becomes your daily routine. This will not only keep you fit – but will greatly help the health of your body and mind.
Research has shown that each succeeding generation physically ages faster than the previous one. This is indicated by the earlier onset of various diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are the most common diseases that limit people’s lives – and are caused by prolonged sitting, lack of body movement, or improper diet. Practically, and scientifically confirmed: the long-term effects of sitting are harmful. So, if you already have to sit and work on your computer – change some of your daily habits, and do something good for your health.