It goes without saying that many of us are spending a LOT more time indoors and on screens nowadays.
Thankfully, technology has made the switch to remote learning and remote work much smoother!
But, it’s also brought new challenges.
How can I remain productive in a world where so much is digital? What are some strategies I can apply to build a healthier relationship with technology? What’s the best way to work and learn remotely? These are just a few of the questions we hope to answer in this post.
1. Get comfortable
For starters, a comfortable seating position is essential! When sitting for long periods of time, our bodies become strained from the lack of physical activity.
And no, you don’t need to break the bank on a fancy new chair! While some high-priced ergonomic solutions might be handy, they’re certainly not a necessity when trying to find physical comfort at your workspace. Here are a few quick pointers for when you’re sitting at your workspace:
- Keep your arms resting level with your desk, with your feet planted firmly on the ground.
- Keep your thighs relaxed and shoulders back
- Maintain an upright posture throughout the workday
- If you’re using a monitor, it should be about an arm’s length away from your sitting position.
On a similar note, laptops and other mobile devices have been notorious for causing neck strain. One way to solve this issue is to raise it to your eye level so that you can comfortably sit upright while using your computer. Some people do this with a stack of books, others might buy an adjustable stand, like these ones.
2. Take care of your eyes
Using screens for long periods of time has some downsides! One negative is the fact that blue light emitted from devices has the potential to disrupt our sleep patterns.
One way to combat this is to set up our devices so that our screen colours are warmer (less blue). The feature that helps do this is named something different for each type of device, but generally you should look for something called “Night mode”, “Night shift”, “Night light”, or something similar. Some monitors even have this built-in. Samsung, for example, [calls it “Eye saver mode](https://www.samsung.com/africa_en/monitors/flat/led-monitor-27-inch-ls27e390hs-xa/#:~:text=Eye Saver Mode%3A Unlike other,the touch of a button.)“.
Click [here](https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-stop-blue-light-from-disturbing-your-sleep#:~:text=Click the Start button and,enable Night light mode immediately.) to read a great article that covers how to set up this feature on your device. A bonus is that this setting is incredibly easy to set up, it’ll only take 60 seconds to potentially save you hours of sleep each night!
3. Treat yourself
Taking breaks is perhaps the most important tip on this list. Physical and mental breaks.
Physically, we harm our bodies when we sit for too long. [Sitting has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, muscle and joint stiffness, anxiety, depression, and a slew of other bad stuff](https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/the-dangers-of-sitting#:~:text=Sitting or lying down for,physical activity in your day.)! While it’s certainly tougher to be physically active nowadays with so many teachers, students, and other workers cooped up at home, there are still things we can do to stay mobile. Here’s a few quick tips:
- Spend a portion of your lunch hour outside on a walk
- Take short breaks throughout the day to stretch, do some yoga, or a mini-workout. There’s plenty of apps today that offer short activities that can be done at home, like the Nike Training Club App
- Set reminders for yourself to stand at least once every hour from your desk
We also need breaks for mental and emotional reasons. Stepping away from the computer screen allows us to recharge for the next class, meeting, or study session, all the while lessening our risk of burnout. According to this article, “[A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new](https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/take-break#:~:text=A change of scene or,enough to de-stress you.)“