Photo via Sparre.Enger
Have you noticed how often we bloggers give advice that we need to hear ourselves? Earlier this year I organized a Simple Living Challenge on my blog, which connected me to incredible new friends and in the course of three weeks we explored the ways to simplify our everyday and to make our lives deeper and infused with meaning.
Even before the challenge had started I had realized the importance of out-loud dreaming because in my strive to simplify my life and help my readers do the same I unwittingly found myself using a very simple netbook instead of my powerful laptop. Ironic as it is, simple technology is not good. It doesn’t do the job. In fact, it makes things worse. After thousands of pageviews, hundreds of comments, tens of guest posts during the challenge, the reward I got was ruined vision, spasms of the eye muscles and a new glasses prescription.
Simple. I am now allowed to spend thrice as less time in front of the computer than before my Simple Living Challenge, and more than 2 months later I haven’t yet recovered fully. Don’t ask me what I had to give up because of that. It is much, and dear to me. But I am not telling you this to provoke your pity. I wanted to talk about the dangers of prolonged hours of sitting or staring near.
The dangers of sedentary life
Did you know that sitting for more than 6 hours a day increases your risk of dying within 15 years with 40%? According to research we now spend even more time sitting (about 9 hours) than sleeping (about 7 hours) but clearly our bodies were not made for such intense and long periods of inactivity.
As soon as you sit, the electrical activity in your muscles shuts off, calory burning drops to only 1 per minute and the enzymes that help break down fat drop with a staggering 90%.
Now add staring at close distance to sitting. The increased hours of close distance pressure on our eye muscles lead to a condition called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) which affects 90% of people who spend more than 3 hours at the computer. Among the CVS symptoms are headache, dry eyes, blurry vision, and long-term nearsightedness. Further aggravating these symptoms are improper lighting conditions (glare or bright overhead lighting) or air moving past the eyes (overhead vents, direct air from a fan).
Here is self-explanatory infographic to support my words:
Via: Medical Billing And Coding
How to keep ourselves healthy
Along the course of a few months I met 3 eye specialists and learned that in order to avoid eye problems I should look outside almost every 10 minutes thus providing relief for my eye muscles. What ophthalmologists consider a resting position for the eye is to look at a distance longer than 5 meters. Daylight is essential for eye health as well and regular breaks, let’s say every 30 minutes should be taken as well.
You can combine these breaks with simple exercising to keep your body awake and the enzymes working, which is also beneficial to your creativity.
What I consciously couldn’t stop myself from doing, my Simple Living Challenge did for me. It finally got me to simplify my life and rid it from too much online stress and hopefully got it healthier as I now move much more. But please, don’t wait for something similar to happen to you. You don’t need to hear it from the doctor. Instead you can take it from someone like me, who just got that experience and is willing to help you out. Stand up, walk more and look in the distance!
How do you fight the plague of sitting?