When you’re writing your bestselling novel, pounding out code, or raiding a dungeon in World of Warcraft (hey, we don’t judge here), it’s easy to sit at the computer for hours on end, barely moving more than your fingers and eyes.
You might not think that such an innocuous position as “sitting” could be detrimental to your health, but long periods spent like this can make you vulnerable to eyesight deterioration, back and hand pain, headaches and eye problems. And let’s not forget our old friend, repetitive stress injuries (such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome).
Breaks Bring Benefits
An easy way to combat these problems is to take “micro breaks” several times an hour while you’re at the computer. These breaks don’t need to be long–even 30 seconds is better than nothing–and you’ll probably find they increase your mental alertness and productivity.
Try some stretching exercises that involve the whole body and get the blood flowing. If you can, try jumping up and down or running in place or even a few pushups.
If you’re busy working for The Man, you might not be able to get up and wander around (or start a boot-camp workout at your desk), but there are many stretches you can do while still sitting in your chair. You can even find computer yoga programs meant to be done at your desk.
Lastly, pick up a break reminder program (just Google that for several free options) to give you a little nudge and let you know it’s time to stop working. If you’re like I was, you’ll be shocked at how quickly 15 or 30 minutes go by, so don’t just rely on yourself to remember to take those breaks.