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How to Avoid Eye Strain and Back Pain at Work

If you work at an office everyday, spending hours hunched over the computer monitor, it is possible you may experience painful eye strain, back problems, or other issues. The key to avoiding such problems is solid prevention, of course. Below, my top tips for making office life bearable (and safe!):
Avoiding eye strain: Every forty-five minutes or so, you should briefly get up and look at something that is not your computer monitor. Get away from that glaring box for a little while; go to the water cooler, the bathroom, or take a stroll down the hallway. Pretend to be visiting the mailroom to check on something. The key here is to avoid sitting at your computer for five or six hours straight. Eye strain and headaches occur when you focus on an object for too long. And, naturally, a bright ultrawide monitor is not the best thing to be looking at in the first place. Look at an object far away, such as another building out the window or a distant cloud, and spend several minutes focusing on it before returning to your desk.

Preventing back problems: Make sure you are using an ergonomic office chair if possible. Also, set it to the correct height; you don’t want to be looking up or down at your monitor. Make an active effort to keep your back straight as opposed to slouching. A slouch of a few minutes is fine, but eight hours a day, five days a week it can lead to back problems down the road.

Diet concerns: Sometimes the convenience of a company snack machine is too much to resist, but you should nevertheless try your best to bring a lunch to work or to take time off to find a healthy lunch somewhere. Snack machine foods are high in carbohydrates, sugar, and chemical additives but are relatively low in actual nutritional value. Avoid them.

Remain hydrated: Take regular water cooler breaks and keep a glass of water (not just a cup of coffee) at your desk. Proper hydration will keep you healthy, productive, and may also decrease your chances of developing headaches at work.



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