Meditation & Health #20-Workplace Health
BY PING RI & QING LAN
If you’re somebody who spends a great deal of time behind a desk at work, you may experience symptoms like eyestrain, shoulder pain, and discomfort in your back, neck, wrists, and arms. Although a desk job might not seem physically taxing, spending extended periods of time sitting and working can result in multiple health conditions.
Taking regular breaks away from your desk is essential to remaining healthy. Rejuvenate your energy with the following tips:
Tip 1 Take Care of Your Eyes
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) affects millions of people around the world. Blurred vision, dry eyes, visual fatigue, weakening eyesight, and headaches are consequences of excessive screen time. Researchers recommend looking away from one’s screen every 20 minutes at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Add to that a round of blinking 20 times to lubricate and refresh the eyes. CVS is a reality of modern life, but can be mitigated or staved off through adherence to the 20-20-20-20 rule.
Tip 2 Roll the Shoulders
Roll your shoulders forward and backward. Next, with both arms close to the body, lift your shoulders to reach the ears, then release forcefully. Repeat each action at least 10 times. The stretching relaxes the neck and back, stimulates blood circulation, and alleviates stiffness caused by prolonged sitting in the same position.
Tip 3 Bring the Outdoors Indoors
Keep plants such as basil, peppermint, or rosemary in your workspace. Greenery cleans the air and removes some electromagnetic pollutants emitted by your computer and other office electronics. The scents relieve tension, sharpen attention, increase awareness, and even stimulate the immune system.
Tip 4 Comb the Scalp and Tap the Eyes
Before you switch on your computer, take a few deep breaths. Next, spread your fingers, and using your fingertips, comb your scalp from the front of your head to the back. Repeat this a few times. Then gently tap around your eyes. This is an instant pick-me-up.
Tip 5 Massage Earlobes
Move your right hand across the back of your head to touch your left earlobe. Massage the lobe gently at least 20 times. Repeat with your left hand, massaging the right lobe.
Moving your hands to the back of your head to reach the earlobes stretches the shoulders and arms. Massaging the earlobes can prevent headaches and dizziness, and relieve stress and fatigue.
Tip 6 Every Step Counts
Don’t sit behind your desk for hours. Walk it out. Get your blood flowing and breathe some fresh air. Grab opportunities to stand, such as when engaged in a phone call.
Tip 7 Drink Pu-erh Tea
If you don’t have time for a power nap, drinking a cup of pu-erh tea can refresh and clear your mind and improve focus. The tealeaves contain many properties that aid eye health, reduce body fat, and improve the strength of your stomach and the functionality of your digestive system.
Tip 8 Choose Healthy Snacks
Eating fruit in the afternoon can combat midday fatigue. Most fruits contain vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and can prevent fatigue. Bananas offer a good source of healthy nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and the B vitamins to replenish energy, and increase alertness and concentration.
Tip 9 Practice a Breathing Exercise
Inhale slowly through the nose and feel the diaphragm moving up. Hold your breath for a few seconds before exhaling slowly through the mouth, feeling the diaphragm moving down. Repeat the exercise six times in one minute. This breathing technique is calming and stimulates movements in the stomach and intestines. Good gut health prevents constipation, which can result in part from too much sitting.
Tip 10 Stretch Before Bedtime
Stretching areas that hold tension such as the shoulders, neck, hands, and chest right before going to bed can improve sleep quality. Back muscles must be stretched daily, as we tend to sit in awkward positions. Give your legs a nightly stretch to boost circulation and flexibility.
Computer- and desk-oriented work can pose serious health risks. Take the necessary steps daily to prevent chronic strain from becoming a challenging health condition.