Here are some experts advice and suggestions on to deal with the most common office ailment and found fast fixes, which will help you sail through your workday pain- free.
Backache, migraine attacks and tired eyes – a hard day’s work does not necessarily only translate into a fat paycheck, but many hidden health problems too. With many more of us spending long strenuous hours in our cramped cubicles, such wellbeing issues are bound to crop up. While it is not possible to give up our eight or- more hours stint at work (after all we need the moolah) to keep our body in perfect shape, it is possible to make a few changes in our desk routine to come away feeling better. Here are some experts advice and suggestions on to deal with the most common office ailment and found fast fixes, which will help you sail through your workday pain- free.
TIRED EYES SYNDHOME
Staring at a monitor all day long can be vexing, even for those with six by- six vision. Long after you log off and stop staring at your computer screen, your eyes feel weary and even burn like Amrita Kapoor, a 24-year old journalist did. “My eyes watered and felt tired all the time. I used to wash them with cold water but it did not help, so I had to consult an eye doctor, who said my eyes were suffering from excessive strain due to staring at the computer screen.”
Gawk at your computer screen for more than two hours daily and in all likelihood you will experience some degree of strain and discomfort, says Dr Sanjay Dhawan, head of department, Max Eyecare, Delhi. “Common symptoms of excessive eye strain include a dull ache, repetitive headaches, sore eyes, redness, watery eyes, or dryness in the eye. Most of these symptoms assert themselves at the end of the day and the eyes tend to feel better by the morning if you have had adequate rest,” he adds.
Fast Fix: several factors are likely to contribute to the problem like low blinking frequency, poor positioning of the screen, and improper workspace lighting. “ many people harbor the misconception that by using an antiglare screen, they can lessen the problem but this is not true because there’s no radiation emitting from a computer monitor,” says Dr Dhawan. What helps lessen the strain, are convergence exercises. “ Sit upright, hold a pen at an arm’s length and concentrate on the tip, bring it close to eye to a point were mild strain is felt, hold for 10 seconds, take the pen back again. Repeat at least 10 times at one go. It helps your eye muscles to become stronger. You can also use lubricant eye drop like Tears natural for relief,” he adds.
Opt for placing the center of your computer screen below the horizontal line of sight (around five inches or so) because the straight-ahead position used by many computer operators contributes to eye- strain and headaches. Also check if it is possible to avoid direct and reflected glare of the lights to the screen. Learn to take short breaks to relax your eyes instead of sitting for long hours staring unblinkingly at your screen. A visual break of every 20 minutes is recommended. To soothe aching eyes, rub your palms together for 20 seconds and then place them over your lids for a minute. Not only will you get a break from the harsh lights, the warmth from your hands will also help bring blood flow to your eyes.
Ask any dermatologist and she will tell you that a centrally AC office is arid – devoid of the right amount of moisture needed by the skin to stay supple. In fact, this arid atmosphere increases the evaporation of water from your skin, Ieaving it dry and parched.
FAST FIX: “If you can afford to, get a portable humidifier for your desk because it will help to replace the moisture around your desk,” says Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, senior consultant, internal medicine, Max Healthcare, Delhi. Keep some fresh water in a spray bottle on your desk and mist your face every once in a while with it. But avoid splashing your face with H2O ever too often and long baths.”Too much water on your skin depletes the natural oils which help to keep your skin supple,” says Dr Budhiraja, adding “apply a little Vaseline on the exposed parts of your skin to avoid water loss.”
Expose your skin to sunlight for at least half an hour on a daily basis to get an adequate dose of Vitamin D, which is essential for your well being, he adds. It will help you keep future problems like Osteomalacia (weakening of the bones) at an arm’s length. Do include healthy food, which has plenty of vitamin A (green veggies) and C (oranges) in your diet to avoid scaly, rough skin.
And for the 100th time, please make sure you drink those eight to ten glasses of water daily.
“In today’s trying times, we find many people coming to us with abnormally high stress and anxiety related disorders which eventually become the root cause of many chronic disorders like cardiac diseases, obesity hypertension, etc. Most of these problems are classified under lifestyle disorders and are linked to hectic work styles,” explains Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, lifestyle management expert, Escorts Heart Institute, Delhi.
FAST FIX: While there is no easy solution to a stress-free life, to keep burn out at bay you need to take charge of your life now “Adopt the two tenets of healthy living – eat right and exercise,” says Dr Singh. A daily 30-minute walk or pranayama or some yoga postures, will help you tremendously to deal with stress. Eat at the right time, in right portions and include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit in your diet to remain healthy. “Get in the habit of listening to music, especially if you are being driven to and from work. If will help to soothe your nerves. Learn some deep breathing exercises, which you can practice at your desk.
Also, a great way to keep stress at bay is to indulge in a hobby at least for a couple of hours every week. Take a vacation or break from work for two-three days every quarter and longer holiday once a year. This will help you de-stress,” advises Dr Singh.
Meher, a 24-yearold research assistant recently visited a doctor when she couldn’t ignore the pain in her wrist anymore.”I thought I must have sprained it while sleeping. But my doctor said it was more likely Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). I had never even heard of the term,” she says who works long hours on her keyboard. RSI is a condition caused due to excessive and repetitive demands placed on a part of the body.”Repeated movements cause damage to tendons, muscles, nerves and other soft tissues. Deskbound workers, especially those using keyboards and computer mouse are particularly prone to RSIs of the upper limbs,” explains Dr Singh. Typical symptoms include pain in the wrist, upper arm and shoulder area.
FAST FIX: “There is no real remedy to this problem, except lessening the time you spend on a keyboard. Also, make sure your keyboard is properly aligned and your wrist is kept straight,” says Dr Singh. Take frequent breaks from keyboard thumping to give our wrist some time to relax.”Ensure you do some wrist rotation exercises on a regular basis to ease the strain,” advises Dr Budhiraja.
Desk-bound duty all day long can be the cause of some severe back and neck pains which most of us have experienced from time to time. “Such aches and pains are caused due to bad posture, prolonged sitting in an upright or forward position, and chairs which are not ergonomically designed,” explains Dr Budhiraja.
FAST FIX: If you are prone to backaches, make it a point to request your manager or admin department to get a chair for you that supports your spine. “The chair must take the shape of your back, and use a cushion to support your lower back. To avoid back pain, it is important for you to do some extension exercises (bending the spine backwards) and not flexion (bending forward) exercise. Asanas like ‘bhujangasana’ is good.” Also make sure you take a break at least once in an hour and take a short walk.”Instead of waiting for the peon to get you a cup of tea or deliver a file to your colleague, get up and do it yourself. This will not only help your back, but will also prevent cramps in your legs keeping future problems like thrombosis at bay,” he adds.