With more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions and the average age of the mainframer being 43 years old, according to Zippia, here are some strategies to reduce your own pain and inflammation, and you can have fun while doing it. For those just entering the field, why not start improving your own joint health now.
Genetics can play a big role in your risk of developing arthritis, but technology use also can increase symptoms, meaning mainframers (and almost everyone in our tech-first culture) could be at risk.
In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month in May, mainframers should consider how they can prevent arthritis, or the severity of it, with these five easy-to-adopt healthy habits. They can help you stay limber, improve your body health, and ensure your joints and hands can continue programming and contributing to the mainframe industry.
Exercise has countless health benefits, and one of them is arthritis prevention. Exercise strengthens and stabilizes your joints, which makes them more resistant to pain and wear and tear. Walking, biking, and strength training exercises, such as lifting weights, are simple and easy exercises you can add to your routine. Consider checking out the Arthritis Foundation’s series of simple exercise videos that can be done at home — and even from your desk in the middle of a workday!
2. Stand More
If you, like most mainframers, sit at a desk for eight or more hours every day, those long hours of not moving or moving minimally can damage your joints. Taking frequent breaks from sitting and walking around during your sedentary work hours can help reduce joint pain. Throughout your day, take stretching breaks to stand up, walk around, and loosen up. You could even schedule these directly in your calendar.
3. Improve Your Ergonomics
Becoming more aware of the benefits of good ergonomics can lead to making improvements to your working and living environments. Ensuring your home and desk at work are optimal for your posture can help prevent joint pain and improve bone health. A good-quality office chair with lumbar support and a headrest will reduce strain on your back and neck. Checking to see if your computer monitor is at the correct height and distance from your eyes will help to prevent unnecessary stress on your eyes, neck, and back. An adjustable height desk can also help with eye and neck strain, as well as enabling you to stand more.
4. Keep Your Hands Flexible
Arthritis commonly affects hands, knuckles, and fingers, often causing them to become swollen, painful, and immobile. Doing hand exercises can help keep your ligaments and tendons flexible and strong. Flexing and bending your fingers regularly can keep them limber and prevent stiffness.
5. Pay Attention to Your Diet
Like exercise, eating a nutritious diet has many benefits for your overall health, which increases your defenses to arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, are good for reducing pain and inflammation in the body and in the joints. Salmon, trout, sardines, and chia seeds are all high in omega-3s and can improve your joint health.
Mainframers are an essential member of the IT industry. Prioritizing your health can give you more energy, leave you better equipped to provide high-quality work, and manage your workloads and responsibilities, both in and out of the office. By practicing healthy habits that relieve stress on your body and joints, you can combat the negative health effects that often come with a sedentary career.