Working at a computer all day long can take a toll on your body.
And that’s because sitting at a desk for hours on end makes you more likely to feel the physical and mental strain. Plus, sitting all day can raise your risk for chronic health issues, like obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC. Since most of us can’t give up our desk jobs, these tweaks can help us stay healthy while working at a computer.
- Practice good sitting posture- Poor posture can strain the muscles and joints, leading to balance issues, back and neck pain and fatigue. But what does “good sitting posture” even look like? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it means keeping your body and spine in a neutral position, with hands and forearms parallel to the floor, elbows at 90-degree angles and feet flat on the floor.
- Invest in ergonomic furniture- If there’s room in your budget, consider buying a standing desk or a chair with a proper seat cushion and lumbar support. Cushioned keyboard and mouse pads to support wrists are also helpful.
- Adjust your monitor and screen- Keep your monitor “directly in your line of eyesight” so you don’t have to look up or down at the screen. This will also keep your neck in a neutral position, which prevents strain to your neck and shoulders.
- Take regular breaks- Sitting in the same position for a long time can tighten your muscles, which can lead to pain and tension. But getting up every 20 to 30 minutes to walk around and stretch for five minutes can help you avoid that and it gives you a brain break, too.
- Eat lunch away from your desk- Along with those regular breaks, stepping away from your desk to eat lunch is a good idea, too. It helps with mindful eating and may help you be more productive when you return to work feeling satisfied from the meal you were able to focus on by not working as you ate.