Healthy Computing: Regenerate While Waiting

When working at the computer, we often wait with bated breath and poised
fingers in anticipation of the next move, such as when reading emails and
thinking of our response. As the computer processes information or when
there is a delay while cruising the net, we often remain fixated on the
screen and ready to jump back into action when the moment arrives. As we
wait, we hold our breath or breathe shallowly, keep tension in our hands
and arms, and generally tighten our shoulders. These patterns of holding
and breathing rapidly can contribute to discomfort and tiredness.
Interrupt these tension patterns and improve your energy when you
regenerate while waiting.

How to Regenerate While Waiting

Take every opportunity to let go, move and regenerate while the computer
is working or paused with processing.

  • Don’t wait with index finger poised over the mouse click button(on your
    mark, get set, go!). Use the second or two to relax your whole
    body-drop your hands to your lap and exhale, letting all unnecessary
    tension drop out of your body.

  • When see your raised fingers over the keyboard, ready to enter another
    data point as soon as the cursor resumes, let that be the cue to relax
    your hands and shoulders. Drop your hands to your lap and relax your
    shoulders by shrugging them up and letting them drop down.

  • Avoid staring at the monitor when thinking or waiting for the computer.
    Instead, blink your eyes, or close them when thinking about your
    response. Take a second or two to relax your eyes by looking out a
    window or across the room; gently blink one more time.

Copyright 2002 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney

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