If you spend a lot of time working at the computer, you risk repetitive strain injury (RSI). RSI is a pretty serious issue that can permanently degrade your joints. A lot of people suffer with this in their wrists and it can drastically affect your performance and efficiency and cause a lot of discomfort down the road. The best solution for preventing RSI is to give yourself regular breaks. Like everything in life, moderation is important, and we're talking about your health here. Even something as simple as getting up, stretching, and grabbing a glass of water at the water cooler can help reset your body and remind it that there are other positions beyond 'hands-on-the-keyboard.'
Sitting still (or even standing on your feet) for a long time can cause stiffness and discomfort in your muscles, but the strain starts to happen before you even notice it. Stretching relieves the stiffness from your muscles and releases tension. There are huge stress-reducing benefits as well. It only takes a minute or two to run through some gentle stretches that work your neck, shoulders, back, legs, hands, and wrists. Best of all, you can perform these stretches during your routine breaks mentioned above!
Staying hydrated is very important. The human body gives cues when it needs to be replenished, but we're not all that good at interpreting them correctly each and every time. Drinking plenty of water helps filter the body. For avid coffee, soda, and tea drinkers, replacing one or more of your regular beverages with water each day can contribute to weight loss.
Your back and posture is not something you want to mess with, and if your posture is bad, establishing good posture takes a lot of discipline. Sit in an upright, relaxed position, with your back against the back of the chair. It's important your feet can comfortably touch the ground and your shoulders are relaxed.
During the course of the day, it can be pretty hard to remember to follow healthy practices. Big Stretch Reminder is a free, lightweight app that will simply pop up a reminder every so often to tell you it's time to give yourself a quick rest from the computer. You can set your own interval between breaks. Big Stretch Reminder has an extremely small footprint and won't slow down your computer, but it might help prevent repetitive strain injury! Click here to download Big Stretch Reminder.