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ealthy Computing Tips

Healthy Computing: Regenerate While Waiting

© 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
When working at the computer, we often wait with bated breath and poised fingers in anticipation of the next move, such as when reading emails and thinking of our response. As the computer processes information or when there is a delay while cruising the net, we often remain fixated on the screen and ready to jump back into action when the moment arrives. As we wait, we hold our breath or breathe shallowly, keep tension in our hands and arms, and generally tighten our shoulders. These patterns of holding and breathing rapidly can contribute to discomfort and tiredness. Interrupt these tension patterns and improve your energy when you regenerate while waiting.

How to Regenerate While Waiting
Take every opportunity to let go, move and regenerate while the computer is working or paused with processing.

  • Don't wait with index finger poised over the mouse click button(on your mark, get set, go!). Use the second or two to relax your whole body-drop your hands to your lap and exhale, letting all unnecessary tension drop out of your body.
  • When see your raised fingers over the keyboard, ready to enter another data point as soon as the cursor resumes, let that be the cue to relax your hands and shoulders. Drop your hands to your lap and relax your shoulders by shrugging them up and letting them drop down.
  • Avoid staring at the monitor when thinking or waiting for the computer. Instead, blink your eyes, or close them when thinking about your response. Take a second or two to relax your eyes by looking out a window or across the room; gently blink one more time.

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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