Tuesday, January 6, 2009
No more pain and stress
As a student I spend many hours each day sitting at my computer. Even though I am conscious of my posture and the way that I am sitting, I have still developed chronic back pain and circulation problems. Sitting for these extended periods of time causes me to stiffen and be uncomfortable, which in turn creates problems with concentration and causes distractions. Being in pain creates a stressful work environment that does not allow for optimal learning. I have heard about the benefits of exercise on the brain and have personally found that I concentrate best if I take frequent breaks to walk or stretch in order to get my blood flowing and my muscles moving. I have tried a variety of chairs and cushions over the years but they all resulted in the same problems.
Before I moved to Rochester to begin the second half of my student teaching, I completed my final shopping spree at Wegmans. As I strolled through the aisles I spotted the perfect solution to my problem; a core stability ball. I had used the ball before when I was at the gym and I knew a few people who used them regularly. I realized that by purchasing a core stability ball, I would have better posture while using my computer, increase blood flow to my legs, and be able to move and exercise while working. I purchased the ball and gave away my old desk chair. Over the next 9 weeks I used the ball every day. I was spending 5-8 hours a day at my computer and it would have been excruciating if I had not made that spontaneous purchase. Since making the switch, I have had no back pain, I lost weight and gained muscle tone, and I was able to reduce my stress level at the same time. I have also increased the blood circulation to my legs by moving and stretching while sitting at my computer.
As I type this, I am bouncing, swiveling, rocking, and balancing. I have fun while working at my computer and I took the pain and dread out of the equation. I would recommend a core stability ball to anyone who spends time sitting for long periods of time, or who wants to take the stress and pain out of studying. They can be purchased from a variety of companies and stores, both online and around the community. The $25 that I spent has been well worth the relaxed and fun experience of using the ball.
Here are a few other tips for decreasing stress on the body while working at a computer.
1. Purchase ergonomic keyboards, wrist guards and mouse pads.
2. Take short breaks every 20-30 minutes.
3. Stretch and move your arms and legs while working to keep blood flowing to the hands and feet.
4. Drink plenty of water and eat healthy snacks such as vegetables and fruits.
5. Listen to music that helps you relax, focus and that encourages movement.
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