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.
Sitting for extended periods without interruption is a prescription for
backaches. In fact, the most common workplace complaint is back
discomfort. If you habitually sit for long periods of time, your
hamstrings and hip flexors may shorten, resulting in stress on your
lower back and pelvis when standing-up. Act more like a cave person (a
hunter and gatherer) and sit less to keep BACK FLEXIBILITY.
How to achieve BACK FLEXIBILITY:
Use every opportunity to get up and walk around: schedule walking
meetings, walk to the printer, stand-up to move from your desk to your
computer work-station, stand-up when talking on the phone or when someone
stops by your desk to ask a question.
Practice various leg and back stretches every hour to keep your back
loose. For example, practice the following leg stretch:
Put your right foot on top of your desk and straighten your right leg as
much as is comfortable, but do not lock your knee. (Be cautious to not
push back if your chair is on casters.) Take a gentle breath in and then,
while exhaling, slightly tighten your abdomen and bend forward, stroking
your right leg with your hands from your knee towards your foot. Reach as
far down your leg as is comfortable while, at the same time, keeping your
back as straight as possible. Hold for one complete breath, slowly
inhaling then exhaling. Then, while inhaling, let go of the stretch and
slowly sit erect and relax your abdomen. Repeat three times.
Change legs and put your left foot on your desk and repeat the stretching
exercise three times.
Optional: repeat the above exercise except stroke your right leg with the
back of your left hand while you rotate your head to the left and look
even further to the left with your eyes (make sure that you continue to
hold slight tension in your abdomen). Repeat three times.
Repeat the same movement, except rotate your head to the right and look
even further to the right with your eyes as your stroke down your leg,
repeat three times.
Finally, repeat the same movement except rotate your head to the left
while your eyes look to the right. Repeat three times.
Do the stretch with your left leg extended, except that you stroke your
left leg with the back of your right hand.
Take a large movement break every 15 to 20 minutes and stretch at lease 3
to 4 times a day.