Just been reading up on more methods of avoiding physical and mental stress from the time we spend on our computers. Doesn’t matter if we sit at a desk, slouch over a laptop or lie down holding a mobile in the air, it seems the hours we spend on IT are not doing us any good.
Biggest area of concern is browsing, chatting or gaming into the wee small hours when we should be sleeping. It deprives us of the all important hours of deep sleep, not only because we stay awake too long, but also because we lose the quality of sleep. Some Apps are now available to help us cope with the issues of working long hours at our computers.
The mind should relax before sleep, allowing the body to perform its nightly maintenance without hindrance. If we stay awake stimulating the mind with all sorts of data, then the maintenance programme is disrupted, meaning we wake up next morning sluggish and out of sorts.
We then compound the problem with tea or coffee to wake us up, and shower, which removes all the protective oils our body has generated for us during the night.
Throw in a croissant or two and a sugary cereal, and we are a real mess by the time we start the days work. Sound familiar ?
Our attention span has reduced dramatically over the last few decades, largely due to the ever increasing amounts of data that pass before our eyes every minute during the day. We just can’t take it all in.
Sitting (or slouching) is bad for posture and blood circulation. We should get up and move around frequently. But when we get involved in projects or problem solving, the tendency is to just keep going until completion, no matter how long it takes. Maybe just intake some more coffee now and again to keep the brain going.
So how do we resolve these issues ?
Looks like water for a start. Regular drinks of clear water to keep the mind and body refreshed. Next up is following a diet that includes fresh foods that help keep the body healthy. Natural foods, cooked or raw will give us the necessary nutrients required to keep the brain moving. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and beans. Certainly steer clear of takeaways whenever possible, and sugar and salt-filled ready meals that slow the body down.
Then exercise. Not necessarily hours of pounding away at a gym. Small 15 minute sessions will help the blood flow and energise the muscles.
Next up is to make a cut-off point, and knowing when to switch off all equipment (including our brains). 10pm would be a good time. It appears that the light from electronic equipment takes time to clear away, so an IT free period before sleep would help us achieve the deeper sleep the body needs.
Certainly avoid the late night intrusion of emails and messages unless really important.
Apps are now available to help us with these issues.
Facebook Limiter blocks access for times you choose.
BreakFree is an app that monitors how you use your phone, and gives suggestions about time management, while Headspace is a UK based mindfulness app that guides you with meditation suggestions to keep your mind clear and focused.
A good diet and plenty of water will go a long way to helping us stay in control if we have to work long hours at a computer. But now we have other tools to assist us as well.
Perhaps we should find and use more of these Apps to guide ourselves to greater productivity without damaging our mental and physical wellbeing.
What do you think ? Let me know. I would love to hear from you.