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 Healthy Computing: Computer Athlete 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by . View all columns in series
Optimize your performance and prevent computer-related injuries with Healthy Computing Email Tips. Each week we provide hints to help you stay healthier while working.


Computing is an athletic event. It requires the frequent use of specific muscles hour after hour, day after day in fact, when we work at a computer, we use our muscles more than any world class athlete would. Fitness is an important component in staying healthy at the computer and daily exercise is one of the best predictors of health during the senior years. Yet, when we have done working, commuting, and tending to family needs, most of us don't have that hour to go to the gym. (Can you imagine Tiger Woods swinging a golf club 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and doing no other exercise?) Be like most world-class athletes and prepare for your daily event of computing by becoming a COMPUTER ATHLETE.

HOW TO BECOME A COMPUTER ATHLETE:

Exercise can be done as you work or tend to your daily chores. Following are some ideas for exercise:

  • Take a movement/exercise break just as you take a coffee break, or split your coffee break in half dividing it between exercise and relaxation.
  • Take a walk with your colleagues instead of meeting them for coffee or lunch.
  • Walk up or down the stairs instead of taking the elevatorif you can't walk up, at least walk down until you build up your strength.
  • When the phone rings, stand up and walk in place or do squats or desk/wall push-offs while talking.
  • Do a few chair crunches each day to strengthen your abdominal musclespull your pelvic bones and lower ribs closer together. Follow crunches with abdominal stretches.
  • Do wall or desk push-offs to strengthen your armsvary the position of your arms so that you use your muscles differently.
  • Get off or on the bus one stop earlier.
  • Take at least 10 minutes to walk during your lunch break.
  • Sit on a gym ball instead of a chair while working at the computer.
  • Take a break from computing and make large circles with your arms, circling for 15 seconds in each direction.
  • When watching TV at night, do so while gently exercising, such as walking in place, doing crunches, squeezing a small ball, or pressing a pillow between your knees. (Dont exercise too strenuously at night, as that can interfere with sleep).
  • Awaken 15 minutes earlier and begin your day with a brisk, 15-minute walk or yoga.

Keep a daily log of your different exercise activities and times. Ask a co-worker to team-up with you for support and companionship.

      
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 About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco......moreErik Peper PhD
 
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