As online education becomes more popular, there are more and more students who are taking classes and working towards degrees or other professional certifications entirely online. This can be a great way to get ahead in your career, but it is important to be mindful of how long hours in front of a computer or gadget can affect your health. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for student health in online education setting and how to balance them both.
The Broader Dos for Every Online Student
- First and foremost, it is important to make sure that you are taking breaks throughout the day. Just because you are not physically in a classroom does not mean that you should be sitting in front of a computer for hours on end. Get up and move around, take a break to grab a snack or drink, and give your eyes a break from the screen.
Here are a few tips for online students to stay healthy:
- Get up and move around at least every 20 minutes or so.
- Take regular breaks to eat healthy snacks or drink water.
- Do some light stretching or exercises during breaks.
- Rotate your neck, wrists, and shoulders periodically to get rid of any stiffness.
- Cultivate an active lifestyle to offset the long hours spent online.
- Next, be sure to create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. This will help you to stay on track with your work and also ensure that you are taking the time to focus on other aspects of your life. Make sure to schedule in time for exercise, socializing, and relaxation, so that you do not burn yourself out.
Here are a few tips for online students to create a healthy schedule:
- Wake up at the same time every day.
- Eat regular meals at set times.
- Schedule in time for exercise, socializing, and relaxation.
- Create a to-do list for each day and week.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it.
III. Finally, if you are struggling to cope with various aspects of online learning. Many online programs have student support services that can help you with time management, study tips, and more. Do not be afraid to reach out if you need assistance.
Here are a few tips for when you are struggling:
- Reach out to student support services.
- Talk to a counselor or therapist.
- Take a break from social media.
- Find a study group or tutor.
- Get enough sleep!
Health Risks & How to Overcome Them
Online students must watch out for Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) when using the keyboard or mouse too much. Some simple tips are to keep your wrists straight, take frequent breaks and use a comfortable chair. If you start to experience any pain, stop what you are doing and rest. Sitting for too long and sitting with the wrong posture can have long-term and adverse effects on your overall health. If your budget permits, consider investing in a good chair and a height-adjustable standing table.
A comfortable, ergonomic chair:
- Your chair should support your back and allow you to keep your feet flat on the ground.
- If you can, adjust the height of your chair so that your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- If you are going to be sitting for long periods of time, make sure to take breaks and move around often.
A standing desk:
- If you can, get a desk that is adjustable so that you can alternate between sitting and standing.
- Take breaks often when using a standing desk and move around to avoid stiffness.
- Make sure that your monitor is at eye level so that you do not have to strain your neck.
Protect Your Eyes
It is quite evident that online learning requires several hours of looking into a computer monitor or laptop/tablet display. The blue light and high levels of contrast and brightness can lead to blurry vision, dry, itchy, and sore eyes, and gradually deteriorate your eyesight. Therefore, your eyes too require some care.
Here are a few ways to exercise your eyes:
- The 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a break and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Try the eye chart app on your phone or computer.
- Use blue light glasses when working on the computer for long periods of time.
- Splash cool water into your eyes each time you take a break.
- Blink often!
What Every Online Student Should Remember
An integral part of staying healthy as an online student is being sensible enough to identify problems and address them and keep a check on your mental health too. As an online student, the few things you should always do is:
- See a doctor if you’re experiencing any health problems.
- Completely stay away from gadgets and computers when you are on vacation or have extended breaks.
- Make time for yourself every day to pursue your hobbies and interests (that preferably do not involve sitting on a chair or screen time).
- Avoid procrastination.
- Set realistic goals.
- Speak up if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. Remember, you are not alone! Many other students are struggling with the same thing. Reach out to your peers and support each other.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you are able to balance online education with your health in good measure. Studies are important, but not at the cost of your health!
Online Masters Colleges (OMC) has a collection of interesting reads and resources that can help you with overall better college life. Check out some of our other articles – Top 8 Tips for Students for a Productive Day, Life of an Online Student, How Can Students Release Stress and Improve Concentration, and more.
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