Image via Wikipedia
Hunched shoulders, clenched teeth, sweaty forehead, racing heart, blurring vision. No, this isn't a description of a Comrades Marathon
runner. It was a picture of how I often ended up whilst studying. When you sit down at your desk to study, do you find yourself gearing yourself up for a marathon? I've got five ways you can help alleviate the physical strain that studying puts on your body.
1. Get up and walk around frequently.
Sometimes you may need to actually set a timer to make sure you get up and walk around for about two minutes every 30 minutes of studying. Bear in mind, you don't have to stop studying. In fact, often changing position like that kicks your brain into a different frame of reference and what you are studying get a fresh feel about it.
2. Stand up whilst studying.
This is a follow-on from point number 1. It is becoming extremely popular at the moment. My Pastor, Clint Archer
uses a standing desk and finds it extremely helpful. It keeps your brain ticking over faster than whilst sitting, and you are getting your leg muscles to work, thus improving your circulation. The down side to this is that later in life you have a higher risk of developing varicose veins and osteoarthritis of your hips and knees.
3. Do gentle but frequent neck stretching.
Image via Wikipedia. Donald Rumsfeld working at his standing desk.
Having been in two car accidents and having permanent damage done to my Cervical vertebrae, this is an absolute essential for me. The stretches I most frequently use are ear-to-shoulder both sides, nose-to-armpit both sides (don't do that if you have bad BO!), chin tuck. I usually hold each of those for about ten seconds, and try and relax all my muscles into the stretch. It really works wonders!
4. Train yourself, or be trained to sit correctly.
All the physiotherapists and chiropractors I know teach their patients how to sit correctly. Lying down on your bed on your tummy with your books in front of you is a recipe for disaster for your neck! You don't have to sit bolt-upright all the time, but relax your shoulders, tuck your chin in slightly and sit as if someone is gently pulling on a piece of string attached to the top of your head.
5. Keep yourself generally fit.
This is a no-brainer. Find a sport or activity that can get your heart rate to optimum for about 120 minutes per week. Even if it means taking the kids and the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood twice a week, and a swim twice a week. Do something to get yourself fitter.
- The Health Benefits of the Standing Desk (savings.com)
- One Year at My Standing Desk (smarterware.org) I highly recommend this one - Gina Trapani really discusses it in detail
- Standing Desk (grabshelldude.wordpress.com)