Sunday, September 26, 2010

too much computer work, how to cope sitting in front of a computer all day

RMIT 2008
found a really workable way to work with computers and a break reminder such as WorkRave:

I set the reminder to 15 mins, 1 minute break. That's the easy part.
When it goes off I don't want to have a break, I don't want to get up and I don't want to move. I'm in 'computer state' of mind.

BUT: if I actually DO get up and do some real exercise, not just stretching or wandering off, but real solid exerise, such as push ups then it makes a difference at the end of the day.The key is that the exercise is 'vigorous' intense, and really uses muscle power.

At the end of the day of doing work like this I feel 'with it' alive, not zonked. I feel like I've done a good day's work and feel pleasantly tired, not tense and stressed from computer stress.

The combination of physical and mental is the key.
When I'm in front of a computer, the last thing I want to do is step out of my mental state into the physical, but if I do, and if I do it regularly, the payoff is fantastic.
It does take discipline.
It does take kindness to myself, when I don't do it .... when I say "Ah...I'll just skip it this ONCE...." - again...
But with patience I get there.

Such a simple method.
Why didn't I get this earlier?

PS: I use my mind very intensely all day in front a computer, I guess it makes sense to balance that with vigorous physical muscle power.

For those not familiar with break reminder software: It is a small program that reminds you to take a break at regular intervals. You can set how often it reminds you.
The idea is to prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) of the hands and arms.

By doing this vigorous exercise I found it goes beyond just preventing RSI, I actually feel better and less stress at the end of the day. 

Workrave is at: it's free, and open source, meaning you can take the code and change it and customize it.

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