Out and About – Week of February 8th

“It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” ! Abraham Lincoln

Since last October, I’ve been working out of my home. I had a good-sized office in a great location, so when I relocated, I had to give up a lot. Prior to moving, I either sold, gave away, or threw away a lot of “stuff”. My office at home is much smaller and contains only the things I feel I must have to do what I do. A lot of people are doing the same thing, so a “Home/Office” is becoming more common everyday. There are many things to take into consideration when making this transition. As you are setting up your home/office, you should remember that design matters when setting up a home work space. Ergonomics experts believe too many are approaching their design the wrong way and are risking significant health issues down the road. Michelle Robertson, executive director for the Office Ergonomics Research Committee said, “You need to have visual cues that say, ‘This is my work area,’ in order to reduce the mental strain of mixing a home and work environment.”

There are four important things to remember to stay healthy while working in an environment where you are sitting at a computer. In an office, you are more likely to get up and move around. At home, probably the only time you might get up would be to refill your coffee cup or go to the bathroom. It’s also easier to just sit back and take a nap. Here are four things to think about:

MOVEMENT: With extended sitting linked to an increased risk for diabetes, hypertension and abnormal cholesterol levels, movement is critical. A good suggestion is to get away from the computer and move around at least every half-hour.
SITTING: When selecting a chair, it’s recommended to invest in a high-quality chair. The chair should be adjustable to a height where you’re not putting strain on your neck by having to continually look up or down. You should be able to adjust the chair or keyboard to keep your forearms, wrists and hands in a straight line. You should also avoid resting your wrists on the hard edge of the desk. Resting your wrists on a hard edge could cause discomfort.
COMPUTER MONITOR: The monitor should be at eye level and 20 to 40 inches directly in front of you.
LIGHTING: Proper lighting is critical for health. You shouldn’t position a bright light right behind you, because it could trigger glare on the monitor and cause eye strain and difficulty in focusing. Poor lighting might make you lean into your computer in order to see the screen, resulting in back and shoulder problems.
Next Sunday, February 14, is Valentines Day. This is fair warning to all you sweethearts out there. You still have time to select that perfect card, purchase a box of chocolates, and give Teresa a call at Ridgeway and order some fragrant flowers. Now that we can enjoy indoor dining, you might want to make reservations at a romantic restaurant for a perfect date night. I’m speaking primarily to the gentlemen now. Ladies, please have patience just in case your sweetheart is not on the ball. Put away that cast-iron skillet. A Teflon fry pan doesn’t much of a mark and still gets your point across.

In case you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution yet, don’t worry. This Friday is the Chinese New Year.

“Uncle Rube buys tube one week, looks sleek, like sheik.” BURMA SHAVE

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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