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Old 01-13-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
Andrewty07
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Healthy Working at the Computer

Lately I have had a bit of physical distress from the time spent at the desk (I'm assuming). One bit is some upper shoulder pain, and some headache/eye pain once in a while as well. Usually I try to take decent breaks to walk outside or something and that helps keep headache/eye stress down sometimes.

What are your tricks and methods of dealing with long hours of work at the computer/desk?

I have heard people mention doing sets of pushups/crunches every hour as well to get the blood moving and stay health as well. Any suggestions or recommendations for great back support would be fantastic as well, I know posture is key.
 
Old 01-13-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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If you are getting headaches you may want to check with an optometrist just in case to make sure you don't need corrective lenses.

You might also look at getting a setup so you can do some work while standing... I have a friend that built a desk around his treadmill so he can program and walk. I added an armature to a Cintiq so i can shift over and use it while standing... it helps.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:16 PM   #3
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I've been sitting on a balance/exercise ball at work and have noticed a big difference in my posture...might be an option.
 
Old 01-13-2013, 10:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrewty07
Lately I have had a bit of physical distress from the time spent at the desk (I'm assuming). One bit is some upper shoulder pain, and some headache/eye pain once in a while as well. Usually I try to take decent breaks to walk outside or something and that helps keep headache/eye stress down sometimes.

What are your tricks and methods of dealing with long hours of work at the computer/desk?

I have heard people mention doing sets of pushups/crunches every hour as well to get the blood moving and stay health as well. Any suggestions or recommendations for great back support would be fantastic as well, I know posture is key.


A few push ups every now and then is a bit pathetic and won't make up for our sedentary life-styles.
Get yourself to the gym 3-4 times a week and do some proper lifting or cardio. Our bodies weren't built to sit 40-50+ hours a week staring at bright screens, so you'd do well to implement some proper exercise into your life. If on top of that you (consistently) eat healthy and rest adequately, you'll feel a better person for it.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchDimension
A few push ups every now and then is a bit pathetic and won't make up for our sedentary life-styles.
Get yourself to the gym 3-4 times a week and do some proper lifting or cardio. Our bodies weren't built to sit 40-50+ hours a week staring at bright screens, so you'd do well to implement some proper exercise into your life. If on top of that you (consistently) eat healthy and rest adequately, you'll feel a better person for it.


I ll second that. doing sport regularly helps a lot, you ll feel energized all day long without the need of caffeinated drinks (a coffee in the morning still a classic..), that in the long run are pretty bad for health.. I ve been doing high interval training for quite a while now and also indoor rock climbing, and I ve noticed a ton more energy during the day, which I like.

Many times I ve listen people telling me, they do not have time for sport or to do their own lunch at home. And although that might be true to some people (I dont have kids yet, but I understand people who have..its a different situation) a lot of it its just pure Laziness (yes with capital L!), no offense.

also eating better, I know it sounds simple, but seriously thats key, lots of greens and lean meats when possible. The best I found, is to prepare lunch at home, instead of going to a restaurant or calling a delivery almost daily, because often the quality of food, although tasty, is filled up with tons of salt and fat... and yes there are lots of quality restaurants but well that might get expensive...

lastly, smoking (if you dont, good!). Once I quit for good (meaning not smoking when drinking... which I used to consider non smoking really.... yes its stupid, but there you go, cognitive dissonance) I felt a lot less tired to wake up, actually no tired at all.

A trick I found for snacking is bananas and raw almonds (non salted), I carry almost always that with me,
everytime I am hungry I eat a banana and a bunch of almonds, and a huge glass of water...you ll feel full, but no tired full.

I ve never tried a stand up desk, but seen some people using it, and really liking their setup, I am kinda wanting to try one myself one day..

Last edited by manuqc : 01-13-2013 at 10:51 PM.
 
Old 01-13-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchDimension
A few push ups every now and then is a bit pathetic and won't make up for our sedentary life-styles.
Get yourself to the gym 3-4 times a week and do some proper lifting or cardio. Our bodies weren't built to sit 40-50+ hours a week staring at bright screens, so you'd do well to implement some proper exercise into your life. If on top of that you (consistently) eat healthy and rest adequately, you'll feel a better person for it.


Eh, if you're taking a five minute break once per hour to exercise, that works out to forty minutes a day of exercise. That's pretty substantial; you'd have to be seriously dedicated to match that in a daily trip to the gym. Also, while I'd have to dig around to find the source, I'm pretty sure there's evidence that numerous short bouts of exercise are better at combating the effects of sitting than fewer extended ones.


Also, to the OP: see a doctor. Sitting all day isn't good for anyone, but if it's actively causing you pain, there's likely something else going wrong.
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Last edited by Meloncov : 01-13-2013 at 11:10 PM.
 
Old 01-13-2013, 11:42 PM   #7
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Having water around. Sometimes when you're "in the zone" working, a 1,5 L bottle goes down fast. Proper room ambient light also helps a lot to avoid eye strain and actual damage. I had the bad habit of doing all-nighters lit only by the monitor and eventually noticed how that + long hours with my eyes fixed at the screen were harming my sight and eventually got a desk lamp during night work and some glasses for computer and reading. And completely agree with the workout part. Doing cardio at least, is not only beneficial for us in more sedentary work area but its vital to keep the ticker healthy - this is even more important to who deals with the stress of deadlines, long work nights etc, because the most focused you are on the work the less you notice the exhaustion and high blood pressure kicking in (we've all had those "oh its day already" moments )

Not trying to diagnose anything, but that shoulder pain can be caused by multiple things, from bad sitting posture, incorrect mouse handling position that can lead to pinched nerves etc, to simple muscle stiffness, but if its something that doesn't go away with rest and revising posture , i'd advise obviously a trip to the doc, at least you'll get assurances

Last edited by entropymachine : 01-13-2013 at 11:45 PM.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 01:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meloncov
Eh, if you're taking a five minute break once per hour to exercise, that works out to forty minutes a day of exercise. That's pretty substantial; you'd have to be seriously dedicated to match that in a daily trip to the gym. Also, while I'd have to dig around to find the source, I'm pretty sure there's evidence that numerous short bouts of exercise are better at combating the effects of sitting than fewer extended ones.


Also, to the OP: see a doctor. Sitting all day isn't good for anyone, but if it's actively causing you pain, there's likely something else going wrong.


Is that what you've been doing? Consistently? Every day? Week in week out? If so, kudos to you.
Personally I can't see that ever working with my job. With the deadlines, extended dailies sessions spend in avid suites, meetings, monitor reviews, the breaking of workflow, etc. There's no way I could spend 8 x 5 minutes a day away from my desk (on the boss' payroll no less) in addition to my lunch break, doing exercises strenuously enough for it to truly make a difference. It would be too disruptive. (Besides, how am I going to scorn the smokers from taking their hourly 5 minute breaks if I did the same thing ).
Not to mention, working up a sweat in my work clothes is not an idea I particularly relish. Nor, I'm sure, would my colleagues.
No doubt it works in research laboratories and makes for a convincing read in their published research papers, but it's a different thing entirely when applying it diligently in real life. But hey, each to their own. No two people are alike.

I like to go full out during exercises. Really push myself hard, as opposed to half heartedly peddling on an exercise bike, reading a magazine, watching the TV screens or indulge in any other distractions.
I do 3-4 sessions per week of on average 60-75 minutes. If I don't do this, I notice that I become lethargic. My digestion slows down, I get less hungry and consequently my diet goes to shreds. I start eating poorly and eating unhealthy foods. My sleeping pattern alters and shifts, causing me to go to bed too late and thus not getting enough sleep, feeling tired the next day. As a result I am less productive at work and come 'tools down time' I can't wait to get home to sit on the couch. I also get all kinds of annoying little (some not so little) physical problems, not too dissimilar from the OP. If it's one thing I've learned over the years it's that lethargy breeds lethargy. A downward spiral. Better to make the effort, hit the gym and sport a six pack rather than drinking them.

Diet wise, it's recommended to eat smaller meals more frequently. I eat about 7-8 times a day. But small, healthy meals, making sure to strike a good balance between the macronutrients. Meals small enough for my digestion not to be overwhelmed with caloric overdose (and store this as fat), but large enough to "feed the beast". Doing this also keeps your blood sugar levels from fluctuating too wildly (with all the unpleasant consequences).
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:11 AM   #9
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Interesting posts, glad to see I am not the only one concerned about my well being while working away at the computer hah. The exercise ball suggestion is interesting, so that might be worth a whirl. I had seen little back supports to attach to chairs as well for lower support and posture improvement, anyone tried those?

The anti-caffeine thing was pushed on me back in high school by my basketball coach, we weren't aloud to drink caffeine or carbonated drinks or we had to do extra sprints. That logic has fairly stuck with me though I have no idea if carbonated is detrimental as sometimes I substitute soda for carbonated flavored water.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 01:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrewty07
That logic has fairly stuck with me though I have no idea if carbonated is detrimental as sometimes I substitute soda for carbonated flavored water.


The carbonation shouldn't be a problem, but the flavoring might be, depending on the brand. Some have surprisingly large amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Even caffeine isn't doing any major damage to you, unless you're having truly absurd amounts. It might even be good for you; there are conflicting studies. The major downside is you become dependent and lose ability to function at your best without caffeine.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchDimension
lethargy breeds lethargy.

couldn't agree more!
 
Old 01-14-2013, 03:29 AM   #12
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don't be so quick to knock of coffee...

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/f...new-health-food


just sayin'...
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:35 AM   #13
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Interesting article on coffee though that is certainly not Starbucks style. It does mention "So there isn't solid proof. But there are signs of potential health perks -- and a few cautions"
 
Old 01-14-2013, 03:56 AM   #14
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-- and a few cautions"


always though with anything.. moderation ya know.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
A trick I found for snacking is bananas and raw almonds (non salted), I carry almost always that with me,
everytime I am hungry I eat a banana and a bunch of almonds, and a huge glass of water...you ll feel full, but no tired full.


Other than trying my best to pack my own lunch i too bring fruits and nuts to work and its a heck of a lot better than the vending machine. I started doing that nike + for the xbox and it shows that i need to be more fierce about staying in shape.
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