Don't let your computer take over your body posture, Go For a Swim!

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Apr 18, 2011

Don't let your computer take over your body posture, Go For a Swim!

Nowadays, computer skills are almost as common in the every day work life as lunch breaks. With this advancement in technology, however, come also negative side effects in the face of very bad habits, especially when it comes to our back posture.
Feel the calm water
I know I am guilty of it. Even right now when I write this post my back is slouching over. Even though I try to eliminate it by sitting on a stability ball and once in a while catch myself in the bad posture and try to correct it, I still do have a bad posture when I am engulfed into something I do on a computer. I don’t mean to preach to you about how to sit in front of your computer, there are many ergonomic tips you can incorporate into your computer work (for example: the chair type), but what I’d like you to realize is that you can give your spine and body a needed break by going swimming during your lunch break or after work. You do not need to have a complicated workout for hours and hours. Fifteen to thirty minutes are enough to get your body back into the right alignment.

Here is a bit more incentive for you to get you to your local swimming pool.

Swimming as a whole is one of the healthiest sports out there. What it means is that whether you swim for recreational purposes or train for competition, your body is subdued to a lot smaller amount of stress than in any exercise on dry land. Thus in turn, reducing the chance of an injury. Don’t take me wrong, there are injuries from swimming, but they are a lot less frequent than in other sports and usually due to a bad swimming technique which of course you do not have since you are reading this blog.

During swimming, your body is lifted up through its buoyancy, so the gravitational force feels much weaker than on land, so your muscles are loosened up more than they would be outside of the water. When you swim your spine is more relaxed than when you walk. In addition to that, your joints of upper and lower limbs are not overloaded as in running for example. This is also why swimming is frequently used and recommended for rehabilitation purposes. Furthermore, swimming can be also relaxing for the mind where the water acts as a therapeutic element.

During your regular work day, it is recommended to lay down for a few minutes on the ground to let your spine re-align and relax the supporting muscles. There are many programs that teach you the right way to move and relax, for example the Alexander Technique, however, I'd say, why not just jump into your local pool and get the most out of both worlds, wonderful body and mind relaxation in one package. And as a positive side effect, you will also increase your stamina and core body strength and learn or improve a life saving skill, swimming.

Did I now convince you that swimming is wonderful? It is not just a sport, but also a way of life, relaxation and I’d even dare to say a certain level of meditation. When I swim and feel the water flowing over my body, I feel re-energized and sometimes when I have a hard decision to make in my life, going swimming helps me with clearing my head of all the distractions which makes it easier to weigh all the options later. When you run or cycle, there are many distractions around, you have to watch where you step, perhaps check for traffic or listen to the world’s noises, but when you swim, all that is gone, the only thing you have to worry about is not hitting the wall and that is eliminated when you are in a lake. I’ve solved mathematical or computer science problems which I was previously stuck in during swimming, I’ve figured out how to behave in certain unpleasant situations and I’ve even sang the entire Beatles albums while stroking away from wall to wall. Ok, the last one is not true as I don’t really know the lyrics, but I do play a tune in my head during some longer swims to keep my rhythm going. (Note: To improve in swimming, you will need to engage your mind and repeat the correct movements many many times until they become subconscious. So don't you go singing Beatles songs just yet.:) When that happens, you will enjoy swimming so much more.)

I think if everyone would experience swimming as I have described it above, the swimming pools would be always overflowing and everyone would be very well verse in swimming:). Reality is a bit more complicated though. If you think that you cannot feel that way, you probably just need some help with your swimming stroke. If you are having trouble relaxing your body in the water, the proper body position lesson should get you started.
Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.

4 comments:

Swimming Tips said...

Great post, swimming is a great way to get your body back aligned.

I have also heard once an hour you should focus your eyes on something in distance as this stops the wear and tear computer screens have on your eyes.

Sam

swimator said...

Thanks Sam. There are many things you can do to help you stay healthy during your computer day. We just need to take the 5 minutes to relax :). That is probably the biggest problem.

webdesign said...

ya swimming is very important for body shaining...
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Ergonomic Mouse said...

Swimming as a whole is one of the healthiest sports out there.