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How bad is it to sit in front of a computer screen for hours each day?

Sitting still and not moving for hours -- something that can easily happen in front of the computer -- can put you at risk of blood clots in your lower extremities. Also, being sedentary and sitting still also means you’re not burning off any of the excess calories you are probably consuming. Here are some basic tips to help you to achieve a healthier high-tech habit:
  • Take a blink break: look away from the screen every 20 minutes and gaze into the distance for about 30 seconds. Periodically check the brightness of the lighting in the room, especially as the day progresses into late afternoon and evening.
  • Make sure your monitor is about 14 inches away from your eyes and that your chair has a comfortable back rest for support. Stand up every 30 minutes and walk around, rolling your shoulders and stretching your arms. Do some knee raises to encourage circulation.
  • Keep your mouse, desk surface, keyboard and monitor clean. Pathogens can easily grow on these surfaces. It’s especially important to disinfect these areas if you are sharing the system with others.
  • Keep your laptop off your lap; the heat that emanates from a laptop can, in rare cases, cause skin burns. 
  • When you take a break, clean off the keyboard and desk surface areas, which notoriously harbor germs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.