Protect Your Posture
by Beverley Paine
Life isn't very comfortable with a couple of bulging disks in my back, pinching the nerve that runs down the outside of my thigh and making sleeping uncomfortable on my right side. This is an everday occurence for me and I'm much too young to be complaining about back problems! Carrying infants in an incorrect manner probably impacted on twelve years of sitting at a desk as a school student. During my years as an owner-builder I didn't take care to warm up my muscles or develop them adequately to do the heavy lifting and gardening I undertook almost daily. And now it is hard for me to do gardening - bending over hurts, sitting on the ground hurts and I definitely can't turn the compost heap or dig the spuds...
It's never too late to start looking after your back. Too many of us spend too many hours sitting at our computers, whether for study or leisure or simply catching up with friends on social networking sites. Preventing back problems in the first place makes good sense, especially when it is relatively easy to do by following a few simple tips. Instilling posture protecting habits in our children will reward them for the rest of their lives. Poor posture leads to aching muscles which can make it hard to be creative, concentrate or stay motivated.
Follow these five rules for working comfortably on a desktop computer:
Adjusting to working with your arms level with your elbows, sitting relatively upright with your back supported and your legs level with your hips, may feel uncomfortable in the beginning. Persevere with a few aches - they will soon go away and you'll feel much better and more energetic after working. Make sure that the top of your monitor is set at eye level - any lower or higher and you will get strain in your neck and shoulders.
Don't forget to take short one to five minute breaks every half hour. Get up and walk to the kitchen for a drink of water. Do a few stretches on your way back to your desk. While working, develop the habit of focussing on objects around the room or through a window or mirror to give your eyes a rest. Every couple of hours go outside for some fresh air and a walk around the garden. Help your children develop these habits by encouraging them to mix up their day, making sure sedentary activities are punctuated regularly by physically active ones.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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