Theia Vision Care™

7 Things You Should Do If You Work at a Desk

  • by: theiaAdmin
  • February 26, 2020

As you know, I’m a top 3 Lake Country eye doctor voted for 2 years in a row now, but I’m so much more than that! I am very passionate about total wellness. If you work all day long at an office desk, you should incorporate these 7 easy things into your work day to increase your physical activity and overall health – without sacrificing your work. If you have concerns about back pain, neck pain, tired and dry eyes, headaches, lack of energy, and more, these ergonomic tips should help solve your problems.

  1. Position your monitor such that you are only looking downwards at a 10-degree angle maximum.
    1. How: You can either get a stand created specifically for this reason (see picture below) or you could simply place your monitor on a stack of books or other materials to get it to the height perfect for you, DIY style.
    2. Why: Looking too far down can result in back and neck pain. Looking too far up can result in dry eye. Schedule an appointment with Theia Vision Care today to treat your dry eye.
    3. Note: If your workspace consists of more than just one monitor at a short, fixed distance in front of your face (or even if it doesn’t), ask us if a pair of office glasses may benefit you for your specific work situation as opposed to what you currently use for vision correction at that distance, if anything.
  1. BLINK! Is that really a whole tip on its own? Yes, and it’s really that simple.
    1. How: I think you already know how, but consciously remind yourself to blink or even write it down on a sticky note and place it somewhere in your view.
    2. Why: When we use computers, we tend to blink 1/3 as much as we normally do which results in dry eye.
  2. Take an hourly break.
    1. How: Take a lap around the office, stand up and stretch, practice the 20/20/20 rule, and see tip #4 below. The 20/20/20 rule asks that you take a break every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds to alleviate eye stress and prevent Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as Digital Eye Strain. CVS affects about 70% of Americans and is characterized by a plethora of symptoms such as eye fatigue, headaches, dry eye, and blurry vision.
    2. Why: Even if you don’t want to take a break, I’m here to tell you why you should. It helps you retain information, build connections, reevaluate your goals, prevents boredom, becoming unfocused, and burning out.
  3. Here me out here… desk workouts.
    1. How: Follow the link for six ways to workout at your desk without standing up or embarrassing yourself: https://www.purewow.com/body/6-ways-to-work-out-at-your-desk?utm_source=shape&utm_medium=syndication
    2. Why: Studies show that small exercises throughout the day still add up like a single, longer workout. Micro-exercising throughout the day increases circulation and muscle engagement and decreases blood pressure and cholesterol, among other things. As a bonus, you don’t even have to stop working to do these workouts. Yay for productivity! Read below the list for more explanation on micro-exercising your way to good health.
  4. Stay hydrated!
    1. How: The recommended benchmark for exactly how much water you should drink is half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces. For example, if you weigh 120 lbs., you should drink 60 oz. of water daily.
    2. Why: Everybody knows that proper water intake is essential to good health, but there’s more to it than that. Drinking the right amount of water promotes weight loss, better skin, and higher energy levels. As a bonus, drinking more water forces you to get up from your desk for refills and bathroom breaks. Extra break time from work? We’ll take it.
  5. Take the long way to your desk.
    1. How: Swap out your typical parking spot for one further away from the building, and avoid the elevator by opting for the stairs instead.
    2. Why: More walking results in better circulation and more muscle engagement.
  6. At the end of the day when you get home from work, take a break from all the technology.
    1. How: Take your dog for a walk, cook dinner with your partner, play catch with your kid(s) in the backyard, or play board games with the whole family. For more suggestions, follow the link: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/100-things-to-do-during-s_b_5264727
    2. Why: Your eyes need some rest. I suggest getting blue light blocking glasses if you don’t already have a pair. All technology and artificial light sources emit harmful blue light that your eyes are susceptible to damage from. Our blue light blockers offer the most high-quality protection I confidently trust at a market-competitive price. Ask us about our blue light blockers, and learn more about blue light here: https://theiavisioncare.com/2018/04/17/what-is-blue-light-and-how-can-you-keep-your-eyes-happy-and-healthy/

For additional tips to throw at you briefly at the end, I recommend increasing the text size on your devices to decrease eye strain, fatigue, and headaches simply by not squinting and making your eyes work harder than they have to. I also suggest multifocal contact lenses to give your eyes a break and a range of distances to view comfortably, as opposed to just far or up-close vision. The same goes for office glasses, as mentioned in the list above.

To emphasize and justify micro-exercising, “studies show that everything from cognition to the lymphatic system improves if we are more consistently active throughout the day,” says David Agus, M.D., a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California. “Our bodies were designed to move. Yet we’ve designed our world to have everything within arm’s reach.” That means you need to take every chance you get to add extra activity into your day—so remember the stairs are just as good as a StairMaster. In fact, recent research published in the American Journal of Health Promotion suggests that short periods of activity really add up. When researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 adults, ages 18 to 85, they found that those who got short bouts of exercise (between 1 and 10 minutes) through daily activities experienced the same benefits, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as did those who continuously exercised for 30 minutes.

If this hasn’t convinced you to micro-exercise, I recommend exercising outside of work if you don’t already. I am a huge CrossFit advocate and love sharing my experience and knowledge on CrossFit and physical health as a whole, so feel free to ask me more about it. Please consider incorporating these 7 simple things into your work day to take steps toward increased wellness and a healthier you!

This blog post was inspired by and modeled after the following article: https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/8-things-you-need-do-if-you-sit-computer-all-day?

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