Health Tips and Exercises
How to Sit at a Computer
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Avoid most computer-related overuse injuries. Some experts suggest that to reduce your risk:
- Use a properly set-up workstation.
- Use correct posture.
- And most importantly, take frequent rest breaks.
Workstation Set Up
Many people find that a good chair is one that adapts to their bodies. You may want to choose one that is stable and adjusts easily for height and tilt. Consider a chair with a backrest that supports the curve of your lower (lumbar) back. Sit back in the chair when you work at a computer.
Many people may be most comfortable when the height of the desks is at about elbow level when sitting down. Check that there is enough room below the work surface to comfortably fit your knees and thighs.
Consider having the height of the surface holding your keyboard and mouse or trackball about 1 to 2 inches above your thighs. Center the keyboard in front of your body.
- Spine: Ears are in line with tops of shoulders, and shoulders in line with hips.
- Shoulders: Upper arms hang relaxed and close to the body.
- Wrists: Hands are in straight lines with lower arms.
- Don’t rest your elbows on hard surfaces.
- Rest your eyes occasionally by focusing on distant objects (i.e., look out a window).
Guidelines for Preventing Falls
Maintain Your Health
- Get an annual physical and eye examination, particularly an evaluation of cardiac and blood pressure problems.
- Maintain a diet with adequate dietary calcium and vitamin D.
- Do not smoke.
- Avoid excessive alcohol intake.
- Participate in an exercise program for agility, strength, balance and coordination.
- Eliminate all tripping hazards in your home and install grab bars, handrails and other safety devices.
- Wear properly- fitting shoes with nonskid soles and tie your shoe laces.
- Replace slippers that have stretched out of shape and are too loose.
- Avoid high heels and shoes with smooth, slick soles.
- Never walk in your stocking feet.
Understand Your Medications
- Keep an up-to-date list of all medications and provide it to all doctors with whom you consult.
- Check with your doctor(s) about the side effects of your medicines and over-the-counter drugs. Fatigue or confusion increases your risk of falling.
- Make sure all medications are clearly labeled and stored in a well-lit area according to instructions.
- Take medications on schedule with a full glass of water, unless otherwise instructed.
Click below to learn about doing exercises recommended by our Physicians:
Safe Exercise Guidelines
- Use Proper Equipment. Replace your athletic shoes as they wear out. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that let you move freely and are light enough to release body heat. When exercising in cold weather, dress in removable layers.
- Warm Up. Warm up to prepare to exercise, even before stretching. Run in place for a few minutes, breathe slowly and deeply, or gently rehearse the motions of the exercise to follow. Warming up increases your heart and blood flow rates and loosens up other muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
- Stretch. Begin stretches slowly and carefully until reaching a point of muscle tension. Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds, then slowly and carefully release it. Inhale before each stretch and exhale as you release. Do each stretch only once. Never stretch to the point of pain, always maintain control, and never bounce on a muscle that is fully stretched.
- Take Your Time. Move through the full range of motion with each repetition. Breathe regularly to help lower your blood pressure and increase blood supply to the brain.
- Drink Water. Drink enough water to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Drink 1 pint of water 15 minutes before you start exercising and another pint after you cool down. Have a drink of water every 20 minutes or so while you exercise.
- Cool Down. Make cooling down the final phase of your exercise routine. It should take twice as long as your warm up. Slow your motions and lessen the intensity of your movements for at least 10 minutes before you stop completely. This phase of a safe exercise program should conclude your skin is dry and you have cooled down.
- Rest. Schedule regular days off from exercise and rest when tired. Fatigue, soreness, and pain are good reasons to not exercise.