Work hygiene

Originally I wanted to make a comparison of apps that recalls about short and long breaks, but every app has more or less same functionality, so it is a matter of preference, and also I decided that it is much more important to explain why is worthwhile to use them.

The risk

Working as a white collar worker seems like very comfortable and safe work – I agree with that :), but it doesn’t mean this kind of work doesn’t affect our health at all.

Office workers spent most of their time using a computer. After everybody likes to chill out watching some movies or surf the web. Every ambition person wants to develop herself so they’re working on side projects or learning using online courses.
All of those things could result in many hours spent by sitting, using mouse and keyboard and looking at a monitor.

The sense of sight is probably the most important. Long working on a computer may be really damaging for our eyes, it could lead for example to eye strain and shortsightedness.

For now still, the best input methods are keyboards and mice. Both of them are heavily used. Our hands are in the same position for many hours.
That could lead to the very painful condition like carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) or tendonitis. Having a problem with wrists probably will force you to take a very long vacation, or you can try to type with your feet (I know the person who really did it).

The last group of health problems is associated with long sitting. Things like occasional back and neck pain don’t sound serious but ignored may create a bigger problem.
There is also very „shameful” disease, which can be caused by long sitting – hemorrhoids.

The cure

There are a few things that could be done in order to prevent those health problems.

The main things, in my opinion, is to take regular short brakes during work. Polish law even regulates such brakes for employees working with computers.
I using software called EyeLeo that recalls me to take two types of brakes. I set up short break for every 10 minutes, and it takes only 8 seconds. The goal of that break is to give some break to eyes.
EyeLeo in reminder pop-up shows what you need to do, for example: „roll your eye”, „blink your eyes”, „look out the window”.
Long break happens every one hour and it takes 4 minutes. During these breaks, I do some exercises for the neck, I stretching my legs by walking around the room.
I’m not super strong about those brakes when I feel very focused I usually skip a break but not more than two in the row.
Regular breaks are very beneficial for eyes, back, neck, legs.

Breaks are important but back pain may appear anyway if deep muscles won’t be stimulated. There are a lot of exercises to stimulate deep muscles, you can also do some sports, but remember to be careful and patient to not get any injury.

There are things we cannot detect by themselves. Our vision deteriorates very slow and is very important to detect this process at its beginning.

In order to prevent CTS and tendonitis, there is need to invest some money into gel pad. I do have gel pad for my mouse and I thinking about big gel pad for my keyboard. Gel pad for a keyboard is not always required. Some keyboards are specially designed to give your wrists some support.

I didn’t mention yet about right posture during sitting, but unfortunately, I can just say that it is important. I want to explore this subject by myself.
Another thing that I would try it is a standing desk. I had an idea to made a poor version of a standing desk by myself, like a putting some stuff under the legs of the desk, but that would require a lot of effort when I would like to change a position between sitting and standing.

 

All those things I wrote based on my experience, and things that I read in the past. I didn’t provide any proves, because the goal of that post is to point out that there are many things that could damage our health even in comfy office work. There are more appropriate places on the web that describes such things in details.