Friday, September 23, 2005

Get used to your computer, don’t get used by it - Part 2

Now, you may ask, “What’s the big threat about working on a fast and convenient machine, reclining on my armchair all day?” Well, the threat would be that while you’re using your machine to the optimum use for which it is made, you’re in turn switching off your body muscles that need as much work! They in turn run low on performance and finally starts wasting away. Next time you try to lift any weight, or even bend down to pick your newspaper; you can end up spraining your back or neck, no jokes.

Let’s discuss various types of injuries that you might encounter while working on a computer such as carpal tunnel syndrome as well as various eye discomforts. This also includes various symptoms of these ailments and their methods of treatment.

Some of the common ailments that computer users suffer from are Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD), Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendinosis, Bursitis, and Tendinitis. All these ailments need proper care of an orthopedic MD for the right treatment at the right time. Every computer user should know the different signs and symptoms of these disorders so that they can seek prompt medical attention while they encounter with any kind of difficulty.

Your eyes also need proper care as the other parts of the body. It is the worst affected organ in case you have to sit in front of the computer for long hours. Eyestrain and Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) are the most common disorders that the eyes encounter with.
Everybody has a tendency to put on weight in the absence of balanced diet and exercise. Along with these factors, if you are a regular computer user, you are sure to gain those extra inches around your belly and many other parts of your body.. If you need to shed the extra inches that you already have, what you need to do is to increase the number and frequency of certain exercises that you find useful.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Get used to your computer, don’t get used by it - Part 1

More than what the name connotes, computers have much to do with our lives today. You get in touch with your friends, make a purchase from a department store, you access your bank account, you make an opinion poll, you listen to your favorite music, you play chess online, you reserve your flight tickets, all with this odd assembly of electronic gadgets.

You often tend to think how clever you have been in manipulating the electrons into doing what you want them to do for you. Don’t be too sure. The flip side of technology is that you get so addicted to the convenience of technology that you fail to see what hazards they bring.

Have you felt eyes burning while having to sit for a long time in front of the monitor? Have you felt that unmistakable stiffness in your neck? Does your fingers and wrist ache and sprain when trying to flex them backwards? If you are, then know that you are being used by your computer!

“A healthy mind is in a healthy body”

This saying is true even for computer users. While working on the computer, your body is at rest and gets typically no physical workouts. But for fingers, your body is in a state of inaction and lethargy. You even forget to blink your eyelids sometimes! This results in the degeneration of muscles that are toned only if they get enough exercise. Muscles sag, joints get stiff, fat deposits are added and you are susceptible to a number of small and big ailments. This is how computer users tend to go out of shape and gain weight easily.

To serve the cause

“How to stay healthy while working on your computer?” I've just found a new e-course on healthy computing, and I'm going to share it with you. It deals extensively with various things that can go wrong while someone spends their time on computers. The potential hazards that are hidden in the application of computers and their recommended preventive measures are discussed. In the event of you already suffering with any of the ailment mentioned, there are corrective actions recommended, which will reduce or eradicate them for you.

On the first day of the e-course, let’s discuss how to stay healthy, while working on your computer. This contains suggestions on different ways by which you can stay fit even though you have to work on the computer all day long, with pictorial representations. There are some exercises that can be done even at your work place during your micro breaks and short breaks. These are mostly stretching exercises. All these exercises should be performed slowly and carefully. Each position is assumed gracefully to the point where a stretch is felt intensely but with no pain.

If you use computer regularly, you must know; which is the right posture for your kind of job, how to sit on your chair, how to keep your hands, how to move your elbows and shoulders, how to take care of your back and a lot more…

Tip For The Day

Monitors that are placed too high or too low are not recommended for people who have to use computers for long hours per day. It affects the head, neck, shoulders, and the back, as they have to adjust their positions for better view of the monitor. In the long run, the muscles that support the head are fatigued due to these awkward postures.

Never thought these things could make such a big difference to your lives, did you? We’ll tell you how much more you have to know!

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Psychology of Quitting Smoking

Many experts believe smoking is only about 10% physical addiction and a whopping 90% psychological addiction. Your body will recover fairly quickly from nicotine withdrawals (the worst symptoms usually abate in three days or less), but your psychological dependency on cigarettes can be much more difficult to defeat.

One way to combat this is to do a bit of self-analysis before giving up cigarettes.

Make a list with two columns. Label column one "Why I Started Smoking" and label column two "Why I Want To Quit Smoking."

In column one, list all the reasons you can remember as to why you started smoking in the first place. Was it peer pressure? Rebellion? Did you think it made you look cool? Did it make you feel like a grown-up? Really try to remember the exact reasons why you started smoking and write them all down.

Now look over that list. Do any of those reasons still apply in your life today? Probably not.

If you're like most people, you will see that your reasons for becoming a smoker are no longer valid, are often just silly, and are easily outweighed by the risks to your health and your family's well-being.

So let's move on to column two... Why do you want to quit smoking?

This one may seem obvious, but it can be a bit tricky. You really need to take some time and think hard about this. Don't just list the obvious health reasons. You've been reading the Surgeon General's warnings for years with little effect, so you need to come up with reasons that truly have meaning for you.

The things most people write down will NOT help you quit smoking...

- I don't want to get lung cancer.
- I don't want to have a heart attack or a stroke.
- I'd like to live long enough to see my grandchildren grow up.

Those are all good reasons to quit smoking, certainly... but they deal in "possibilities" rather than in specifics.

Sure you MIGHT get lung cancer, you MIGHT have a heart attack or a stroke, you MIGHT die young and miss out on seeing your grandchildren grow up...

...or you MIGHT NOT! You're not likely to break a strong psychological addiction based on what MIGHT happen. Your mind will work hard to convince you that it won't happen to you! Instead, list health problems that you are already experiencing.

Your list should point out things in your life that you are actively unhappy about and are STRONGLY MOTIVATED to change. In order to break your psychological addiction, you need an arsenal of new thoughts and desires that are stronger than your desire to smoke!

Here are the types of things you want to put in column two...

Why Do I Want To Quit Smoking?

1. Health Reasons

- I get so out of breath when I exert myself even a little bit. Just vacuuming the house makes me pant and gasp.

- My feet are always cold. This could be due to high blood pressure and poor circulation associated with smoking.

- I have a nasty wet cough and I have to blow my nose way too often. Mucus build-up is the body's reaction to all the toxins and chemicals in cigarette smoke and could be a precursor to serious respiratory disease. Even if I don't get cancer, I don't want to be one of those people who has to tote oxygen bottles around everywhere.

- I'm always tired. Could it be that my body is using up all its energy trying to eliminate the toxins and chemicals from cigarettes?

2. Vanity Reasons

- Smoking causes premature aging and drying of the skin. I don't want to look like a wrinkled up old prune!

- My fingers, fingernails and teeth are all tobacco stained. Disgusting! How embarrassing.

- When I get on the elevator after a smoke break at work, everyone wrinkles their nose and tries to edge away from me because I reek of cigarette smoke. I feel like a pariah. It's embarrassing to always be the big "stinker" on the elevator. I feel like I have no self-control.

- My breath is awful. Kissing me must be like kissing an ashtray. I spend a fortune on breath mints.

3. Financial Reasons

- If I save all the money I used to spend on cigarettes, I'll have enough to take a vacation in Cancun (or some other warm tropical place) every winter!

- I could use the money to pay off my credit cards!

- I could donate money to my favorite charity or sponsor a child. My cigarette money could make the world a better place!

4. Family Reasons

- My family can stop worrying about me.

- My spouse will have to find something new to nag me about. Just kidding, honey!

- My children will be proud of me and (hopefully) they'll never start smoking themselves, having seen firsthand what a nasty destructive habit it is.

5. Cleanliness Reasons

- The walls used to be white. Now they're a nasty dirty-looking brown. I need to repaint... again!

- I stink, my car stinks, my house stinks, everything I own reeks of cigarette smoke. I can't even lend a book to a non-smoking friend because they can't stand the smell of smoke permeating the pages!

Do you see yourself in any of the items listed? You may have many more reasons of your own. Find as many compelling and emotion reasons to quit smoking as you can think of and write them all down.

If you can re-train your mind to think of smoking as a silly and self-destructive thing to do, then you're almost sure to succeed. And if you need something to do with your hands... try knitting!