These days, we’re all addicted to our screens, as they’re such a central part of our lives. Whether it’s for work or personal use, the chances are we spend hours staring at them. The worrying news is that over the long term, this can harm our health, and therefore our lives. Here are some easy hacks to keep you healthy.
Have you been experiencing headaches recently? Does your forehead sometimes feel tight? Are you noticing how red your eyes are at the end of a long screen session? If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’, it’s worth making the effort to get your eyes tested.
Glare from screens can be hard on the eyes, and even cause your vision to deteriorate. Take action before the situation gets worse. Sometimes, the solution is simply to wear a pair of single vision glasses, with lenses specially adapted for computer use.
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Assuming you’re sitting at a workstation of some kind (not lying on the sofa with a laptop), it’s really important to get your posture right. Musculoskeletal problems develop slowly, over time, and affect all ages. It seems that everything’s OK until one day, for no apparent reason, a nagging ache turns into an excruciating pain that can make you feel miserable for months.
Using a good desk chair, a table at the right height for you, are the minimum you should aim for. But you also need to be mindful of your posture – no slouching, screen at the right height so you look straight ahead and avoid neck problems
Another thing you need to do to keep your body healthy is to get up and move around from time to time. Walking to the kitchen to grab a snack from time to time just isn’t enough.
5 minutes of HIIT, some yoga stretches, or maybe a plank or two will all wake up the muscles and get the blood circulating again. A burst of movement will help you to breathe deeply, give you more energy, and refresh you for the next session.
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Healthy snacks help to regulate your blood sugar levels so you don’t experience energy slumps. Fruit and nut mixes, perhaps an apple with peanut butter, tuna wraps, the possibilities are endless. Just avoid sugary energy bars (they’ll deplete your energy) and, if you’re a chocolate lover, keep it as a reward after you hit a milestone.
Keep your water bottle close by so you stay hydrated.
Drinking regularly also means you’ll be taking regular trips to the bathroom – any excuse to move is good! Many of us love the energy and focus we get from coffee, but be aware that it can have a detrimental effect on sleep.
If you notice this effect, make sure you drink your last cup at least 8 hours before you head to bed. Switch to decaf in the afternoon, and your body will be fooled into thinking it’s having a dose of the real thing.
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