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ealthy Computing Tips

Healthy Computing: Could It Be Me?

© 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
Even with correct ergonomics, discomfort sometimes occurs. How could that be? It must be the equipment! Research findings suggest that ergonomic factors are important and contribute between 10% to 90% of the risk in developing discomfort. In most cases ergonomic factors account for about 30%. The remaining 70% of risk is related to other factors, such as work style and stress (work and personal). So when you experience discomfort ask, COULD IT BE ME?


If you say, "I do not have time to stop" or "I am indispensable and the work will not get done," ask, "What will happen when I die? Will the world stop? Will it be worth the discomfort that I could now be developing?"

If you wake up in the morning already dreading going to work, ask yourself, "What needs to change so that I can look forward to work?"

If you work intensely without taking micro-breaks or periodic larger movement breaks and your body has less opportunity to regenerate, take charge of your health.

  • Regenerating at work. Take very frequent micro-breaks, such as at the end of a paragraph, after each column of entered data, or when waiting for the information to download from the website. Drop you hands to your lap and relax you shoulders.
  • Increase mobility. Every half hour get up and perform movements or take a short walk (schedule walking meetings with co-workers).
  • Identify energy drains (those situations that leave you exhausted) and energy gains (situations that leave you optimistic and stimulated). Then, explore strategies to decrease one energy drain and increase one energy gain during the week.
  • Explore the factors that lead to stressful situations and, if possible, discuss resolution options with your co-workers and supervisors.

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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