Do you have computer-related eyestrain?

Let me ask you something.  Do you spend a lot of your time on the computer and/or an iPad?  And in addition do you watch TV or play video games?

If so, do you sometimes — or often — find you have problems with your eyes like: redness, dryness, itching, burning and tearing when you close your eyes, tired/sore eyes, a sense of fatigue, tics, or perhaps even the same feeling of strain you get when you’ve over-exerted your muscles exercising?

Yeah, me too.  It could be computer-related eyestrain. It could seriously hamper your performance and productivity.

You could even have worse symptoms, such as: headaches, neck aches, back aches, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision or double vision.  And more.

Of course, you can’t really diagnose yourself.  You need to see your physician — or at least your optometrist — because there could also be an underlying eye condition that’s more serious.

The good news is that if it is eye strain, you can easily treat it yourself with a few work-style and lifestyle changes.  And you can prevent it from occurring in the first place or from recurring if you already have it.

The further good news is that you don’t have to give up computers, TV or video games.  The bad news is that you have to modify how you use them and how long you use them at any one time.

The Mayo Clinic has a great multi-part article on eyestrain.  It covers symptoms, causes, risk factors, tests, treatments and home remedies. It begins at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eyestrain/DS01084.  However, if you’ve already been reading stuff on eyestrain and just want the DIY information, you can skip to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eyestrain/DS01084/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies.

How-to Geek also has excellent coverage of the topic at http://www.howtogeek.com/54872/how-to-avoid-computer-eye-strain-and-keep-your-eyes-healthy/ .  It has a more extensive list of ways to modify your computer work habits for the better.

Here are some videos to give you more ideas:

1.This video from C|Net gives tips on reducing eyestrain:

2. Here’s another outlook on preventing eyestrain from computer monitors:

Stop waiting and suffering.  If you have tired, sore eyes, see your optometrist and make sure your eyes are properly corrected.  Ask about computer glasses.  And start making some adjustments in how you use your computer — as well as other digital screens — to get immediate relief and get started on recovery.

Nature-themed videos, performance and productivity

Studies have shown that being in or observing nature — trees, flowers, lakes, gardens, parks, etc. — helps calm and quiet your mind and lift your spirits. It relieves your stress both physically and mentally.

It doesn’t have to be real nature. It can be photos or sketches or paintings or videos.

The mind and body react the same way to “real” and “artificial” nature. (Although actually being in or driving through “the great outdoors” has greater effects.)

Stress reduction is an important component of performance improvement and productivity, I like to explore practical applications of tidbits of knowledge like this. And, since — as you can tell from my last post — I’ve been beefing up the videos section of this site, today I’m going to suggest using short videos as one of those applications.

In my previous post on using tiny videos as kind of “cheer-me-up” greetings, I mentioned that folks who are feeling low need content that is about thirty seconds to one minute long. General take-a-break videos should also be very short: about two to five minutes. But five minutes is pushing the limits.

The idea of using short nature-themed videos is to break the tension and get a sense of calm. To be able to get back to work. To release creative thinking. To become refreshed enough to get back in the grove of performance and productivity.

Here’s a two-minute example I created. You can make your own or find others on YouTube and the other video services. Add them to a collection to use for yourself, your colleagues, your employees — whoever — when you need a quick mental health break.

 

Exercise, health and human performance

I’m constantly harping on the issues of health and well-being in human performance. A recent experience with sore muscles called it to my attention again. Then, when I visited my iGoogle page today, I found a related Wikihow article. So I was inspired to mention it here.

Yesterday, I did more lifting of heavy objects than usual. By early evening I felt the slight soreness that comes from over-doing. It reminded me that, like others who spend a great deal of time in front of a computer, I need varied exercise.

Sure, I do a daily stint of aerobics for 30 minutes. I also do about 15 minutes of stretching. But I haven’t been doing much strength building. And I need strength building in general. I further need it for helping to avoid problems with elbows and wrists from repetitive stress.

I’ve tried lifting. I don’t like it. I’d rather use resistance bands and body-weight training. It’s what I recommend to most of my friends. (However, I’ve recently taken up occasional use of kettle bells, which combine strength and cardio — ever looking for the efficiency of multi-purposing.) But even if I did plan to take up lifting again, I think I’d still be doing work with resistance bands first. I’d consider it good preparation.

As for that article on Wikihow.com that started me thinking about making a post on exercising for health and better human performance in whatever your work, it’s “12 Ways to Strengthen Your Back.” You can find it at http://www.wikihow.com/Exercise-Your-Back. I think it’s an important consideration for performance and productivity at work.

There’s been a great deal of coverage in the media lately about too much sitting causing deep vein thrombosis. There’s also been a lot of information about avoiding or correcting carpal tunnel syndrome and elbow problems from computer work. But for much longer than we’ve known about the problems brought on by the computer age, we’ve been dealing with the still-number-one problem of both sedentary and active work: back pain.

Why not take a look at the Wikihow article and investigate further?

And why not heed the constant stream of information in the media that says exercise is essential to health, wellness and work? Your career or your business rely on you being healthy. On being sufficiently pain-free to perform well and be able to improve your performance. Exercise isn’t merely an option. It’s a must have.

As for myself, I’ve already done my resistance exercises for today. I’ll be adding them back into my regular routines for an every-second-day workout.