Sunday, May 06, 2007

25 Free Health Tips for Computer Nerds

Ways to avoid injury when using a computer over an extended period ...

"You've probably heard the horror stories about gamers who died after marathon gaming sessions. In 2002, a 27 year-old Taiwanese man collapsed after playing computer games for 32 hours non-stop. In 2005, a 28-year-old South Korean man who played computer games for straight 50 hours died of heart failure. The latter gamer stopped his game only to visit the toilet and to take short 'ubernaps.'

You may not be a gamer, but you might feel as though you're tied to your computer with an umbilical cord if your computer-related job demands your attention for eight hours or more per day. As a result, you might suffer from erratic sleep patterns, headaches, back pain, and a poor attention span among other ailments. Although detachment from that computer and an expansion of interests might present the simplest ways to avoid or remedy these physical problems, your job may not allow you that luxury. To that end, the following list includes 25 health tips that address these computer-related health issues in the office or in your home. Of course, since this is Free Geekery, most of our tips are of no charge to you.

1. Listen to your body.
You may know how to program, code, and write a great article, and you may pride yourself on following your boss's cues to the letter. Despite these accomplishments, you may not listen to your body until it's too late. For example, if you take a sleeping pill occasionally you might remedy a short-term problem. But if the cause of insomnia is constant stimulation, you'll need to change your lifestyle to eliminate what may become a chronic issue.

2. Learn your limits.
When you listen to your body, you aren't exhibiting weak or 'soft' behavior. Athletes have learned that when you keep tabs on what your body says, you exhibit a willingness to find your true physical limits. Who's to say that you aren't a computer athlete and that signs of pain or fatigue aren't signals that you've taken on more than you can handle?

3. Stretch.
The best way to stay in touch with your body is through exercise. Exercise can improve your sleep patterns, your ability to think clearly, and it will improve your capacity to fight infections along with the ability to ward off cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. If you haven't exercised in a while, it's best to start out slowly with stretches and walking and then slowly work your way into more strenuous workouts. You can stretch during short breaks at your desk with this free online example."    (Continued via Free Geekery)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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