Taking Care of Yourself Byline: Alyson J. Breisch, RN, MSN
Topics • Care of yourself at work • Care of yourself driving after work • Care of yourself at home • Websites, resources
Question 1 • What are your main concerns related to your work schedule and environment? • Health issues? • Social issues?
Question 2 • Have you ever had an ergonomic evaluation of your workstation done in your work environment?
Question 3 • What is your work schedule? • Number of hours worked – 8, 10, 12, more? • Hours of the day worked? • Steady schedule or rotating shifts? • Regular or variable scheduled days off each week?
Question 4 • What are your sleep habits? • Length of uninterrupted sleep? • Usual hours of day asleep? • Change in pattern for days off?
Computer Work Station Ergonomics Vision Safety Desk Yoga
Ergonomics • Arrangement of equipment for comfort and ease of use • Attention to prevent general fatigue, eyestrain or eye irritation, and physical discomfort
Ergonomic Risks Due To: • Fixed or awkward postures; maintained for too long • Compression on hard or sharp edges of work surfaces • High pace of movements that does not allow recovery time
Positioning monitor screen Positioning reference documents Mouse use and motion Keyboard position Keyboard use Chair height Backrest position Lighting Rest Exercise Reducing Risk * Refer to handout
The human visual system • Human eye primarily for use at far distances, only secondarily for close up work. • We are not properly equipped to comfortably spend long periods staring at VDTs. Results: Our eyes dry out and become sore, our ability to adjust focus slows, vision may blur. Headaches, sore shoulders, and pain in the neck may result.
Dry Eyes • Forced-air heating systems can increase problems with dry eyes • scratchiness • stinging or burning • a feeling that there’s something in the eye • excessive tearing or difficulty wearing contact lenses
Care for Dry Eyes • Over-the-counter eye drops (artificial tears) may be helpful; may require eye MD care • Remember to blink often to keep eyes from drying out
Take “Vision Breaks” from your VDT BEFORE symptoms develop Take a vision break every 20-60 minutes Typical breaks run from 2-4 minutes long
Exercise & Stretch Your Eyes • Look away from your computer screen every 30 minutes: • Focus for 5-10 seconds on an object outside or down the hallway • Look far away at an object for 5-10 seconds then look at a near object for 5-10 seconds, rocking your focusing back and forth for 10 repetitions
“Let’s shed a little light on the subject…” to reduce glare, eye strain, & irritation
Color Preference Literature notes that yellow seems to be a universally irritating color under which to work. Babies cry more in yellow rooms Husbands and wives fight more in yellow kitchens Opera singers throw more tantrums in yellow dressing rooms Individual color preferences vary and can affect reading speed and comprehension. You may want to adjust the Windows (or Macs) default settings of black text on white background to personal selections to suit your personality and mood.
Example: This background and font color may be more pleasing to some… but not to others… High contrast, dark-on-lightcombos work well, avoid low-contrast text/background combinations
Keyboard Yoga • Series of exercises • Easy, effortless • Designed for chair or workstation • Can be done any time
Head and neck Shoulders, arms, elbows, Feet and legs, ankle rotations Hips and lower back Range of Motion
Sit at edge of seat Extend leg, rest on heel, straighten leg Point toe and slowly rotate foot around ankle clockwise Repeat in counter-clockwise direction Do exercise with other foot Let’s try one…ankle Rotations
Worksite Yoga Websites http://www.yogaeverywhere.com/keyboard/index.html http://www.mydailyyoga.com/yoga/everyday_yoga.html (this site sells easy-to-print PDF format of 14 exercises for $10 you can distribute to groups of up to 25 or they’ll be emailed to you in 24 hours)
A Healthy Diet: • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains • Fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products • Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts • Low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars www.mypyramid.gov
Portion Distortion… • “Super-sizing” • Do you know how much food portions have changed in the last 20 years? • Website: http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/portion/
Spaghetti: 20 Years ago Today 500 calories ??? Calories What’s your answer? _ 600 cal. _ 800 cal. _ 1025 cal.
Cheeseburger: 20 Years ago Today 333 calories ??? Calories What’s your answer? _ 590 cal. _ 600 cal. _ 700 cal.
French Fries: 20 Years ago Today 210 calories ??? Calories What’s your answer? _ 590cal. _ 610 cal. _ 650 cal.
Portion Amount of specific food you choose to eat Can be larger or smaller than the recommended serving size (today most are larger than serving size) Serving Unit of measure to describe the amount of food, i.e. ½ cup, recommended from each food group Amount listed on package or on food pyramid Portions and Servings Don’t “super-size” your servings into portions…
One Serving Looks Like: • Grains: • 1 C. of cereal = fist • 1 pancake = compact disc • ½ C. pasta, rice or potato = ½ baseball • Dairy and Cheese: • 1 ½ oz. Cheese = 4 stacked dice or 2 cheese slices • ½ C. ice cream = ½ baseball
One Serving Looks Like: • Vegetables and fruit: • 1 C. salad greens = baseball • ½ C. fresh fruit = ½ baseball • ¼ C. raisins = 1 large egg • Meat and Fats: • 1 tsp. butter or margarine = 1 dice • 3 oz. grilled/baked fish = checkbook • 3 oz. meat, fish, poultry = deck of cards • 2 Tbsp. Peanut butter = ping pong ball
Convenience and Portability • Vending Machines • Packed lunches • Order-in • Cafeteria • Plan Ahead! • Divide and conquer! • Dine with a colleague
Growing number of U.S. workers with non-traditional work hours • 20% of the workforce, more than 21 million Americans, are shift workers. (working evenings or nights)
Lack of Sleep • Shift workers get an average of 5 hours of sleep a day • This is 1 hour to 1½ hours less than daytime workers • How many hours of sleep do you get each day?
Time Since Sleeping A shift worker who sleeps until 1 pm and gets off work at 7 am the next morning is driving after being awake for 18 hours. This is twice as long as daytime workers.
Microsleeps Brief (5 – 30 seconds) episodes of sleep that strike when you are drowsy, causing you to “nod off” briefly. • High-risk conditions: • Highest between 3 am and 5 am • Increases if sleep-deprived • Working alone in quiet or dark environment • Performing monotonous task • Warning signs: • Eyes often make slow rolling movements before and during a microsleep
Chronic sleep deprivation Disrupted sleep patterns Reduced alertness Increased crashes on the job Falling asleep while driving Low morale Decreased motivation and productivity Job burnout Shift Work & Sleepiness Put You at Risk For:
Nodded off at a traffic light Blanked out and not remembered long stretches of driving Driven past a turn-off or exit on a familiar road on the route home from work Driven over the roadside rumble strips Driven over a curb while making a turn Rear-ended a stopped vehicle at a traffic light Nodded off and awakened in oncoming traffic Run off the road after nodding off Have you ever…
These WON’T keep you awake while driving… • Turning up the volume on the radio • Singing loudly • Chewing gum or eating food • Getting out of car and running around • Slapping yourself • Sticking your head out the window
Sleep is Like a Credit Card • You can go into debt • Sleep debt can only be paid off by sleeping • You can’t overcome sleep by willpower • To stop feeling sleepy, your body needs sleep
Tips for daytime Sleeping...
Develop “Wind-down” process • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before going to bed; both interfere with deep levels of sleep • Take a warm bath rather than invigorating shower • Listen to soothing music or read until you feel sleepy • Make a list of things you are concerned about or need to do so you don’t worry about them when trying to sleep.
Create a restful, comfortable sleeping place • Make the room dark. • Our internal clocks tell our bodies to be active when it is light and to crave rest when it is dark. • Use special room-darkening shades, lined drapes or a sleep mask to simulate nighttime. • Block light that comes from your doorway, and cover your illuminated alarm clock.
Adjust thermostat before going to bed • A room that is too hot or too cold can disturb your sleep. • Some research has shown that 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit or 16-18 degrees Celsius is ideal.
Block outside sounds • Use ear plugs, a fan, or turn on FM radio or TV to in between stations so the “shhhh” blocks out other noises and lulls you to sleep. • be sure to turn off the brightness of the TV or cover the screen. • May want to consider a “white noise” machine which plays a steady stream of lulling sounds such as ocean waves.
Set “House Rules” • Establish guidelines for everyone in family to maintain peaceful sleeping environment. • Avoid vacuuming, dishwashers, laundry, and noisy games • Unplug phone in your room. • Hang a “do not disturb” sign on your door. (and on the front door so delivery people also won’t disturb you) • Keep a sleep schedule so friends and family know when to call or visit.
Safety Tips • Ensure your family feels safe at night while you are working • Install a home security system • Get a dog • Keep emergency numbers handy