We often spend long hours at work sitting still, without caring too much about how it affects our health in the long term. Showing you how tech can help mitigate some of those risks
ON A SMARTPHONE TABLETExercises while on your desk Most of us today spend a majority of time working on a desk. However, that does not mean that you cannot stay active while working. There are a number of free apps available to help you do quick exercises
STRETCHESStretching is the easiest and quickest of exercises that can be done on your desk. Check out the 1-minute desk workout app for iOS by Simarim. The app has over 45 exercises to keep you active on your desk and even sends a reminder every hour to do an exercise. Android users can try the free Stretching & Eye exercise app by TM production.
YOGAiOS has a free Lite version of Office YogaMD that suggests over 20 yoga poses to practice on your desk along with audio descriptions. You can also schedule reminders to practice Yoga at specific intervals. For Android users, there are separate Office Yoga apps by Daily Yoga Software for keeping fit, de stressing and meditating.
TAKE A BREAKExperts recommend taking regular breaks at work to prevent stress and repetitive strain injuries. Breaks help you relax, improve productivity and focus. You can either use your phone's built-in alarm clock or countdown timer apps to remind you to take a break. Free apps reMind Alarm clock for Android and Alarmed for iOS offer options to set multiple alarms as break reminders.
GIVE YOUR EYESA REST Since our work today requires constantly working on a display (computers, smartphonetablets), our eyes are put under a lot of stress. While you can lower down the brightness of the display to reduce the effect, it would be better if you get an app that works as a blue light filter. Blue light from the screen causes strain on your eyes and also leads to issues such as insomnia and headaches. Android users can get the free Bluelight filter app for eye care or Twilight app that adjusts the screen color to reduce the blue light effect. iOS users can access a low light filter mode by heading to Settings > accessibility > Zoom enable zoom, tap three times on screen with three fingers to bring up the option to choose filters. Select the low light filter mode and it will be applied across apps on your iOS device.
ON A COMPUTERF.LUX (http:www.justgetflux.com) We think this is a must-have for all computer users.It's totally free and automatically adjusts the colour temperature of your computer screen according to the time of day in your area (and it really helps reduce eye strain). You can choose a particular colour effect (dark room, movie mode) and disable them as and when required. The built-in screen analyzer tells you what kind of ambient lighting is around. The program is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
WEB BROWSER TIMERSNot every office will let you install software on a work computer. In such a case, you can opt for browser based timers. Try http:www.protectyourvision.org. It's a flash website that reminds you to take a break from the computer -you can choose to be alerted about a 20 second break every 20 minutes (or a 5 minute break every hour). It also suggests eye exercises to reduce eye strain. If you do not like to have a tab constantly open, you can get browser extensions that do the same job. Chrome users can get the eyeCare extension while Firefox users can try out the Take a break plug-in.
TAKE A BREAKFor your PC, you can get free software (for different operating systems) that forces you to take a break. For Windows, check out Eyeleo (http:eyeleo.com) -it forces you to take a break every 10 minutes and even suggests eye exercises. It will automatically dim your screen for a longer break you can even set rules to lock the computer down during that duration. MAC users can get apps such as Time Out Free from the Mac App Store for similar functionality.
LIFESPAN TREADMILL DESKRs 1,30,000 If you agree that you need to get up and work instead of sitting down, why not combine it with some exercise too! A treadmill desk like this one from LifeSpan can help: it's pricey, but can you compare it's price to the number of years it'll add to your life? It has all the features of a typical treadmill too.
THE POSTURE GUIDEIt's been said before but needs repeating. There are a few simple ways to correct your posture while seated at a desk.First, make sure that your chair and table surface are at the right height. Your feet should be flat on the ground and your knees should be bent at about a 90 degree angle. Your arms should hang freely, again bent at 90-degrees at the elbow.Your eyes should be somewhere near the top of your computer monitor. If your table height is not adjustable, you can use 3M's Vertical Notebook Riser (for a laptop) and a box (for a monitor).
THE STANDING DESK Es 1,800 onwards It definitely looks weird, but there are undeniable health benefits to standing rather than sitting down at work. Obviously, this doesn't mean that you should be standing all day. A lot of research suggests that we spend almost 6 hours sitting down (in a regular 8 hour work day). And sitting for that long is directly linked to a host of problems, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and even cancer. To help reduce fatigue while standing for long periods, some suggest the use of anti fatigue mats: essentially rubberised mats that offer cushioning and anti-slip properties. If you feel that the motorised standing desks are too high an investment, a simple laptop table with adjustable height (between 26 to 46-inches table height) will also do.
GYM BALLRs 1,000 onwards Ditch the boring office chair for a gym ball the same kind you find in the gym.Everyone agrees that sitting in one place for too long is back for you however, in an office, when you have work you have to sit. If a standing desk is not an option, get one of these. While on the gym ball, your muscles have to work harder and this helps you stay fitter.
PULSE OXIMETERRs 1,300 This tiny battery powered gizmo is small enough to be carried anywhere. It clips on to a finger and can read out your pulse rate and blood oxygensaturation levels in a few seconds. You can find out your heart rate while resting and with moderate exercise this gives an indication of your fitness levels. It is noninvasive and uses red + infrared light to determine how much oxygen your blood is carrying (higher is better).
BACKJOYRs 2,000 onwards All chairs are not equal -and in an office environment, you may not have the luxury of choosing what kind of chair you sit on. The solution is in the form of a product called Backjoy. It's a simple but precisely moulded piece of plastic that you place on the chair and sit the chair and sit on. The shape engages your core muscles and forces you to sit in a better, more upright position.