Improve Your Work Habits – Healthy Living Tips For Bloggers

This is a guest post by Aqeel Syed, blogger and Dahn Yoga enthusiast.

The idea of constantly sitting in front of computer has never appealed me. But it is a source of livelihood and because of that one reason I have agreed to put up with conditions that aren’t necessarily healthy for me. I believe that I’m not the only one to go through this on daily basis.

Have you ever felt that your work no longer appeals you? Or you found that what you dislike about your job seems to overshadow what you enjoy? You may be experiencing burnout and these are some of the common health symptoms. What we must understand is that a job that entails sitting at a computer for hours may require increased effort to keep both our mind and body healthy.

Previously, Kikolani featured a post on living a healthy lifestyle. It was a great article in which a guest blogger discussed natural ways to improve health. I have also few tips to share that have helped me keep a decent body and mind regimen. Using these simple steps I’ve even noticed some improvement in my energy levels and I no longer feel as tired as I used to.

1. Reduce Backache by Changing Sitting Posture

There are standard body positions those have been proven to reduce pains and aches associated with poor postures. You may have been practicing bad postures for a long time. Even I was surprised when I first read about them. I had no clue that I was slowly feeding my body with bad habits. A habit that most of us might have is a caved in back while sitting.

Surprisingly this has much to do with the type of chair you use. The required chair needs to be able to hold your back in an upright position.

Invest in a chair that is appropriate for your height in the sense that it will leave your feet placed firmly on the ground. This will also mean that your hips and thighs are parallel to the floor and your wrists are at the same level as the keyboard. As humorous as this may seem, you may be the type of person who has naturally rounded shoulders and in the wake of trying to follow the concept that sitting up straight is the proper posture, you may actually end up throwing your spine out of alignment. This is because it is naturally not supposed to be that straight. So knowing your body type can also help you a great deal.

2. Adjust Your Monitor

Do you know that distance and height of your computer really matters? Surprisingly enough, I had to adjust the distance of my own monitor after finding out that it could be a possible cause of bad posture. This may happen when you sometimes find that you are bending a lot to see the screen better.

3. Place Things That You Need Nearby

Have you ever found yourself always twisting around and reaching for items that you need but they seem to be far? I know that has happened to me countless times but I’m sure you too didn’t know as well that this constant twisting actually puts strain on our backs. This is because we suddenly lunge to get to these items that we need. Putting these items nearby has saved me a lot of time and has lessened the amount of strain I place on my back. I’m sure it would be easier for you too to have the things you know you will need during the time you are working.

This also includes keeping the phone within reach. Some of us cannot operate without a phone so it would be wise having one nearby. For those of us who own built in telephones we could invest in extending our power cords instead. It might cost us a little but at the end of it all we would be comparing an extension cord to our medical bills, and I’m sure the choice would be the former.

4. Move Around A Lot

Sitting in front of a screen for a long time isn’t easy and our bodies can get too used to this position and that is why after a day’s work, our bodies feel too stiff. We feel like moving a joint or a muscle takes longer than usual and slight pain is involved. Do not sit for long time continuously. Take break after regular intervals. Have a little walk, relax your tensed muscles a bit and then get back to work.

5. Occasional Massages or Acupuncture

At this time it would be wise to invest in massages or even acupuncture. It would be a farce for me to say that I’ve ever tried acupuncture and to be honest, the thought of needles being stuck into various parts of my body literally scares me but I’m sure there are some of you who are brave enough to try it or perhaps have done so. If you have, I’m sure you can attest to its wonderful benefits as so many others have.

On the other hand if you are like me and you aren’t too keen to invest in needles, a simple massage will work wonders for your back. It will relieve you of the tension your muscles have and allow for free energy to flow hence you will leave the place feeling highly rejuvenated and this is needed because of the amount of time spent before the computer.

6. Invest in a Computer That Has a Touchpad

While some of us would like to remain traditional and continue using our mouse, research has proven that continual use of a mouse can cause back pain. This is due to the fact that we keep reaching for the mouse and moving it around.

Although we might not know this, various muscles are used when we move our hand on the mouse including those of our backs. So when we constantly put them to work by endlessly clicking and dragging of the mouse we are simply putting ourselves up for aches. This can all be avoided if you would invest in a keyboard that has a touchpad as this will drastically reduce your hand movements.

7. Yoga Pose Suggestions for Bloggers

I’m a yoga enthusiast so let me share one final tip with you (also on Kristi’s request). You can practice yoga sitting at your desk. A series of simple yoga positions can help you stretch wrists and shoulders.

Start with natural posture, sit at edge of chair. Lift your ribs, and roll your shoulders back to open the chest. Feel a slight arch to your low back. Your feet placed at hip distance to each other, your heels should sit right underneath your knees. Inhale and exhale evenly for five counts each. Repeat as many times as you’d like all the time concentrating at relaxing your shoulders.

Wrists play an important role while blogging/working online. Regular wrist stretches can prevent musculoskeletal disorders. To stretch wrists, make fists of your hands and place them on your desk with thumbs up. Slowly stretch your fists to the right and then to left, without moving your lower arm. Support your lower arm on desk.

After this lift your arm up and make slow circles with your wrist, keeping your hands closed as fists. Circle your hands in both directions. After doing this, release your fingers and place them on the edge of your desk. Press your fingers to desk, try this first with fingers together and then with fingers spread. This will release stress in your wrists and fingers.

Don’t sacrifice your health for successful blogging. Enjoy healthy successful blogging!

Your Healthy Tips

What things do you do to make sure you stay healthy while working in your home or professional office environment, blogging or otherwise?

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  1. says

    Hi Aqeel,

    I loved this post. Practical ways to improve productivity are always the ones that tend to get overlooked or are considered non-issues. I love cycling so i get out every other day and go cycling, not only for excercise but for motivation and focus. I’d like to add, if you need to lean forward to read, then there is a good chance you need eye-glasses or need to get new eye-glasses if you already wear them.
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  2. says

    This is valuable advice! As one that sits in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day I know the value of taking a break every so often. On days I don’t my eyes get strained and body stiff. Guess its better than working in a factory though:)

  3. says

    I’m actually planning to do tip #5, just don’t know when. with less movements due to excessive work, I do feel a lot weaker, which frustrates me sometimes (knowing that I’m an athlete before).

    I would also suggest playing games (like apps on FB) on breaks to have a lighter output for stress. It’s a tedious job, so rewarding your brain with something fun and relaxing will be great :)

  4. says

    Many of us bloggers can overlook the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and it is one of the things that should be prioritized. I am pro healthy living for bloggers and I do it myself. I see to it that I get to exercise every so often, like ballroom dancing, jogging, gym, etc. If I have the time, I see to it that I’m mobile to compensate for the time that I’m just sitting around all day infront of the computer. Balance should be there.
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  5. says

    These really are some great practical tips. I had no idea about the use of a mouse linking to back pain. Random!

    I often take a break to give my cat some needed attention – it helps with the metal aspect and the physical. I’ve also read the importance of taking a short break ever 90 minutes.

    I keep brining up yoga to my fiancee and I am certain we’ll be into it soon. Have you tried any of the home video type things or recommend staying away from them and going to a place that teaches yoga?
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  6. says

    I love taking breaks in between my work. Sitting still for too long just bores me. I need to go on a walk, do some stretches, or just sit on my balcony where I can have some one-on-one time with the outdoors.

    Great post!

  7. says

    In regards to your tip about the monitor, let me give some great insight on that. Last summer I visited a Chiropractor, and he had some great suggestions, and I’ll share them with you guys. The best thing to do is to get your monitor at the same level as your eyes. So this could mean you have to raise your monitor by putting some books or something under it, so that when you are sitting Straight and in a proper sitting position your neck should stand straight…. you should not be looking down, or up, you should be looking eye level with your monitor.

    I hope that helps some one out there!

    Till the,

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  8. says

    This is great information. For someone who sits in front of the computer all day this is great advice. I am using this as an excuse to get a massage. Thanks :)
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  9. says

    I find that I have to take a break about every hour. This not only relieves any boredom, but allows me to clear my mind – a recharge. In fact, I sometimes take an hour nap.

  10. says

    hallo Aqeel

    thanks for the post
    I will give the yoga postures a try, as I also love yoga. I practice Bikram’s yoga. It is much fun.

    for the great natural health improvements I would add- have a dog- you will have at least three free walks and runs every single day. It keeps a mind and body fresh and close to the real world!

    have a great day
    best, Martyna
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