Sitting

According to various researchers, many of us spend far too much time sitting and we could all do with more time spent standing or moving or both. So, here are some tips to do achieve more of a balance between the two.

1. If you do sit or prefer to sit, especially at a desk, don't sit for too long 

Take a break every 20 minutes for at least 10 minutes. Get up walk around. If at home, do some chores, gardening, exercise or stretches and so forth. That might be a problem in the office, so make it at least once every hour and walk around — even if it’s just to the bathroom or get a drink of water.

 

2. To help ease eyestrain, if you're in front of a screen, look away every 15-20 minutes for a minute or two 

Look at things close up and far away to allow the eyes to adjust and move around. For more on easing eyestrain, see points 5-10 below. If you can redesign your work space so you are sitting facing outward toward the rest of the room, you will be able to look out and automatically adjust between long and short distances. This is a key feng shui principle as well, to face the door and window rather than have your back to them. 

 

3. If sitting, try a medi-ball, one of those inflatable spherical exercise balls 

One of the biggest problems with sitting in a chair — even supposed ergonomic office ones — is our tendency to slouch and slump, causing back strain and stiffness. That's apart from the other health effects. However, with the ball, it's hard to have poor posture. In fact, it's quite uncomfortable to slouch. You are frequently moving around on the ball and changing positions. I've used a medi-ball for well over a decade and find it odd to sit in a conventional chair while at a computer. And I've not had any back strain ever since. Exercise balls are also quite cheap, easily moved around, deflated and stored and then reinflated as needed using a bicycle pump. Or, you can use a standing desk.

4. Incorporate more walking and activities that involve standing into your daily life 

for instance, household chores, in addition to breaks between desk sitting. In the office, get up from the desk and occasionally go visit that work colleague rather than email or phone them. Suggest having standing up office meetings.

 

5. Blink as often as you can to keep your eyes lubricated 

Take a few minutes to roll the eyeballs around. You can do this with your eyes open or closed to avoid looking silly. Open and close your eyes often to give them a short break.

 

6. Yawn when you have to (or even when you don’t) and splash your face with water

Yawning stretches out the jaw muscles, which keeps them from becoming tense and causing headaches and eye strain. And don't forget to splash your face with water occasionally!

 

7. While sitting, move around as much as possible 

Always be in a comfortable position, so adjust your body or chair as often as needed. Move the keyboard or screen so you aren’t stretching your neck or looking at things at a strange angle.

8. Try to avoid glare from your screen

If you’re near a window that allows sunlight to fall across your screen, move the screen as the sun moves, or get a screen protector.

 

9. Light your work area appropriate to the time of day.

Natural daylight is obviously best during the day, however, if you can’t be near it, keep the lights/lamps as bright as daylight. Dim the lights or use a lamp with a warm light if working at night. Bright white light keeps you thinking it’s daylight; warmer light kinda imitates the glow of a fire. Sort of. It’s better for going to bed.

10. Install an app to alter the colour of your screen

Using such an app, depending on what time of day and year it is, you can have a warm screen at night and reserve the blue light for the daytime. One such app is f.lux, which is free for Mac, Windows and Linux. This is such a help if you're up at night working on screen; you should also sleep better.

SNAPSHOT

Adjust the light, adjust your posture, look away, get up and move around frequently through the session.

Information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional health care and medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without first consulting a qualified health care provider. Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition or ways in which to use alternative medicine. Each person’s body is different and will react differently to various foods and herbs as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. Therefore, any supplementation must be considered on an individual basis and take into account any medications in use. Use the information found on this website as precisely that: Information only.

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