A frightening sight: scientists have shown how a person will look after years of remote work
Experts have created a model depicting what a person might look like in 2045 who will have to work from home in the next 25 years. The teleworker is represented as a virtual model of "Susan" - and her appearance is an intimidating picture created by clinical psychologists and fitness professionals, writes The Daily Mail.
Susan has hunched shoulders, a double chin, obesity and “digital eye strain” - dry, bloodshot eyes from staring at a computer screen all day.
According to experts at DirectlyApply, the image of this model describes the effects that distant work can have on our bodies if we do not take the necessary steps to avoid this.
Although many remote workers enjoyed extra sleep and comfortable home clothes during quarantine, future pandemics may mean that the benefits of this lifestyle will be significantly outweighed by long-term physical effects on our bodies.
Let's look at the various challenges that Susan and other remote workers might face by 2045.
Computer Vision Syndrome
If you look at the screens all day, this can cause the so-called digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome resulting from repeated eye movements. This leads to dryness, inflammation and redness of the eyes, to their irritation, as well as blurred vision.
Ophthalmologists recommend taking breaks in working with screens for 15-30 minutes, moving their eyes to distant objects; sit 2 feet (60 cm) from the monitor; reduce glare using softer lighting; ensure that the glasses and contact lenses that you wear meet your visual needs.
Lack of exercise and long periods of hunched over in front of a screen can all lead to neck sprains, rounded shoulders, and a hump that will develop over time. It will run from your neck to your arms and back.
According to estimates of the Special Surgery Hospital (HSS) in New York, we begin to stoop after 15 minutes of sitting or standing in the same place.
Experts recommend regularly changing the position on the chair and, if necessary, correct it.
“Even if you're comfortable, you should never sit in one position for more than an hour,” says HSS. - It is recommended to get up and move around every 30-40 minutes. It also reminds you to change your posture when you get back to work. ”
Repetitive Surge Injury
We are talking about pain in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and excessive tension. In the hands and wrists, this manifests itself in the form of sensations of heat or tingling, weakness, sensitivity, or seizures.
Repeated overvoltage injuries can worsen significantly and eventually lead to poor posture in other parts of the body.
The NHS recommends maintaining good posture while working, taking regular breaks from long or repetitive tasks, and ensuring that your desk, keyboard, mouse and screen are positioned so that work is the least stressful. Users are advised not to “pound” the keyboard while typing.
Working with a device such as a phone or laptop can contribute to the modern term “technical neck”, also called cervical kyphosis, which leads to abnormal curvature of the cervical spine.
This is caused by muscle tension when using gadgets, which leads to pain in the neck and shoulders, stiffness and soreness. The condition often affects other muscles and parts of the body.
Dr. Daniel Reeve, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, says we all need to get up and move more often.
“If you have a sedentary job at least every 15-30 minutes you should get up and walk for at least a minute,” he said. “This will make the blood circulate and your neck will be in a different position [and] it will be beneficial not only for the neck, but for the rest of your body as well. Studies show that prolonged sitting is dangerous for your heart and shortens your life span. "
Remote workers need a chair with good lumbar support and the ability to recline as far back as technically possible - this position relieves tension from the neck muscles. In addition, it is recommended to equip the workplace so that you can work while standing part of the time.
Vitamin D is primarily produced under the sun, so working all day indoors can lead to vitamin deficiencies in the body. This can cause hair loss while delaying new hair growth.
The best way to avoid this is to use your lunch break to get some sunshine while shopping, running errands, or even lounging in the garden or outdoors if you have access to it.
Pale, dull and wrinkled skin
A lack of vitamin D and B-12 due to reduced exposure to sunlight can lead to pale, dull and emaciated skin. To avoid this, go outside and breathe fresh air during a precious lunch break.
It is also very important to use skin protection products during the height of summer or any other time when there is a lot of sun - including a sun hat.
Although we do not know Susan's age, her face is markedly full of wrinkles. Although wrinkles are a natural part of aging, certain habits, such as making eye contact with the screen throughout the day, can increase the appearance of lines forming beneath the surface of the skin, leading to wrinkles such as crow's feet or deeper folds.
Drinking plenty of water, quitting smoking, and keeping out of the sun are all good ways to keep your skin smooth and healthy.
Dark circles under the eyes
If you look at several screens during work all day, this can cause dark circles to appear on the skin under the eyes, which makes us look tired and exhausted.
According to the Mayo Clinic Research Center in the United States, we can avoid circles and swelling by cutting down on fluid intake before bed and reducing the amount of salt in our diet, avoiding smoking and getting enough sleep - for most adults - seven to nine hours a day.
On the subject: 10 worst US cities to isolate and work from home
Long periods of stay in the room, constant snacking and lack of exercise can lead to the accumulation of excess fat in the body over time.
Working from home can heighten the temptation to walk up to the refrigerator hourly, but it is often the result of boredom rather than hunger. Therefore, try to avoid snacks between meals - which can be the main reason for weight gain - exercise, get out of the house and make a diet plan so as not to gain pounds.
Prolonged lack of contact with other people and overwork can lead to an increase in the level of the stress hormone cortisol, which raises blood pressure and has a detrimental effect on physical health. Communicate with colleagues and friends through video chat, try to go out to live meetings when it is safe from the point of view of social distance.
How To Not Become Susan
The DirectApply study offered advice on how to maintain a good level of physical and mental health when working remotely.
1. When working remotely, a constant mode of work and rest is important. Routine is the key to emotional and physical health.
2. Maintain positive social relationships: communicate with people in any way possible.
3. Exercise. Plan them every day and try to breathe air whenever possible.
4. Look for a balance between work and personal life: when working remotely, it is easy to lose. Remember that for your health you must not limit life to work.
5. Use your free time wisely. Spend it with friends or family, outdoors or while doing exercises.
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