For your eyes:
- Screens should be 18 – 24 inches from eyes
- Use screens in locations with good lighting without a lot of glare (or consider a matte screen filter)
- Adjust brightness and contrast for comfort
- Consider night mode or blue shade mode on devices after 7 or 8 pm to shut out the blue light which can disrupt sleep
- Remember to blink now and then to avoid dry eyes and eye strain
- 20-20-20 breaks: Set a timer – every 20 minutes, look at something 20’ away for 20 seconds (plus spend some time outdoors every day, looking at a far distance)
For your body:
- Use good posture – typical advice is to sit so there’s a 90 degree angle at your ankles, your knees, and your hips, and that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle as your hands rest on the keyboard. Start with that advice, but then adjust as needed for your personal comfort.
- Choose good furniture – that helps you keep good posture and doesn’t hurt your butt.
- Vary seating choices – if possible, have multiple work stations so you’re not putting weight on exactly the same parts of your body all day long every day, or have an exercise ball to sit on, or a standing-desk station
- Stretch breaks – take breaks between activities… at the end of a chapter, after finishing an assignment, every 20 minutes, whatever “signposts” make sense; dance breaks are also great
For your brain:
Take breaks! Get outside! Move!
I have found that sometimes instead of sitting at my laptop for a zoom call, it’s a nice change of pace to go for a walk and participate from my cell phone. (I turn off my camera so they’re not seeing the world in constant motion.)
To learn how to use Zoom, check out the articles in my Zoom Guide. Here’s a few to start with.
- Becoming a more skilled Zoom participant (gallery view vs. speaker view, changing your name, updating your app)
- Looking and Sounding Good on Zoom: finding a better internet signal so calls don’t freeze, ways to improve your audio and video quality
- Hosting a Meeting (starting a meeting, inviting people, scheduling a meeting, security issues, muting, recording, basics of sharing screens)