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ealthy Computing Tips

Healthy Computing: Increase Energy

© 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
While working do you find yourself tired and quickly irritated by minor hassles? Do depressive thoughts quickly arise? Do you realize that you responded excessively only after you have lashed out and reacted? A state of tense tiredness is often common after a restless sleep, lack of a balanced breakfast, consuming multiple cups of coffee or caffeinated drinks, eating sugary snacks, and lack of exercise. Low energy often contributes to negative moods that increase shoulder (trapezius) muscle tension. Decrease your tension and change your mood when you increase energy.

How to Increase Energy
Begin each day by eating breakfast that includes protein such as cereals with nuts, left over dinner, or the traditional egg. (Oh, no, not my grandmother's advice again: Eat three square meals a day and get some fresh air!)

Listen to yourself and when you begin feel tired, STOP! Take a short walk instead of reaching for a snack or a cup of coffee. (At work, schedule walking meetings.)

A twenty-minute walk will increase your energy, loosen your neck and shoulders and help to transform irritations into solvable problems. Exercise also lengthens the time before desiring a snack or cigarette (Thayer, 1996).

During the day take many breaks to interrupt the low-level chronic tension that is common during computer work. Breaks allow your body to regenerate.

For more information read: Thayer, R.E. (1996). The Origin of Everyday Moods. New York: Oxford University Press.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders

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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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