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ealthy Computing Tips

Healthy Computing: Do the Opposite

© Erik Peper PhD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by Erik Peper PhD. View all columns in series
Do you usually reach to one side to answer your telephone? When standing up, do you generally turn in the same direction again and again? As you reach for reference material, do you repeatedly use the same hand? Habits of movement may seem convenient but, in the long run, may contribute to imbalanced movements that may lead to stiffness and discomfort. Loosen up those muscles and joints and increase your brain cells' dendritic connections when you DO THE OPPOSITE.


Change how you move by consciously exploring different ways of performing your daily activities. Observe if you:

  • Answer the phone with the same hand?
  • Stand up facing the same direction?
  • Get out of bed on the same side?
  • Reach for the printer with the same arm?
  • Eat with the same hand?
  • Sit in the same chair during group meetings?

Explore how you could do these activities differently:

  • Place the phone on a different location on your desk.
  • Talk on the phone while standing up or performing a simple movement exercise, such as squats.
  • Alternate directions and consciously alternate which foot to lead with when standing up.
  • Get out of bed on the opposite side; if you sleep with a partner, trade places at night (good luck).
  • Use your non-dominant arm to retrieve papers from the printer.
  • Alternate hands when eating, cut with the opposite hand (ok, you can practice this one when in private!)
  • Sit on different sides/ends of the conference table, or in different chairs during meetings.
  • Explore how you can do things differently: pouring coffee, driving home, walking across campus.

Copyright 2002 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney

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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 State University. He is President of the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe (2005) and past President of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.......more
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