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Physical and mental fitness for internet marketers.

As you may have already read in our article "Health effects of internet marketing", internet marketers are particularly prone to a number of negative health effects due to the long hours and significant effort necessary to develop and maintain an online business.  Those who choose to do so at the end of an already long working day are perhaps more at risk than most and could therefore benefit most from an improvement in both their routine and their environment.

In this article, we present a series of easy steps that can be taken by virtually anyone to help maintain existing health and prevent the problems that can be associated with extensive after-hours computing.

Step one. Make sure your workstation is set up properly.

Do you know the best way to set up your mouse, monitor and keyboard to minimize negative effects?  Your employer probably does, and (hopefully) should ensure workstations in a workplace are safe.  Why shouldn't you do the same?

Make sure you have checked out up-to-date information on workstation ergonomics (if you don't know where, just copy and paste "computer ergonomics" into the Google search box, below).  This will minimize your risk of Repetitive Strain Injury, back pain, eye strain and many other potential problems.

Step two. Check your visual health and monitor settings.

Many potential eye problems can be nipped in the bud simply by having your monitor correctly positioned and adjusted and by having regular eye check-ups and WEARING any prescription eye-wear.  You only have one pair of eyes, so use them sensibly! 

Old monitors can be dark, poorly focused and have insufficient contrast, all of which can cause eyestrain. It doesn't cost much to have a semi-decent modern monitor that is sharp and bright, so if yours is a bit of a relic, maybe you should consider updating it!

Similalry, there is no point getting a great monitor then sticking it in front of a window with the sun streaming in behind it!  The ergonomics info you found above, should include proper positioning of monitors and their relationship to light sources - these are for your own good, so follow them!

Step three.  Eat and drink properly

It is a fact that most people are chronically dehyrated - a fact which leads to massive amounts of preventable disease.  Add to this the much less recognized fact that most Americans (and others) are over-fed but under-nourished and you can soon see the potential hazards of sitting at a computer all night drinking fizzy drinks and snacking!

Your body is designed to require nutrients in the same way that your car is designed to need fuel, lubricants, servicing etc.  You know what happens to your car if you don't look after it, so why should your body be any different?

Proper nutritional meals, at appropriate times (preferably home-prepared and not out of a packet, box or wrapper) and adequate fluid intake, ideally without corruption from sugars, other sweeteners (e.g. aspartame), alcohol and phosphates (e.g. colas) will not only help maintain health, but will make you think better, and for longer than if you are hungry or on a sugar rush!

Given the poor nutritional standard of most meals nowadays, you ought to think seriously about getting, and using, some quality nutritional supplements to ensure your body has everything it needs to work properly.  If it doesn't, it won't work properly - it's as simple as that!

Step 4. Take regular breaks.

We've all been there.  You have this deadline to need to finish THAT page...this article needs to be finished (hmm, that's a little too close to home :-), whatever the pressure is, it is not worth your health. 

Many of the problems associated with computer use could be greatly reduced, if not completely avoided by taking regular breaks (away from the desk and machine!). What's more, those breaks could facilitate you eating better or taking some exercise - both of which will make you think better anyway, so don't just sit there getting more andmore frustrated, get up, go away for 10 minutes (or 15, or 30, or however long it takes) and come back refreshed and reinvigorated - it will be much more productive in the long run.

on that note...

Step 5. Get some exercise

No only will exercise help you keep fit and healthy, it is also a great way of clearing clutter out of the mind and stimulating new thought processes.  The chemicals released by the body in response to exercise can also leave you feeling full of energy and ready for anything - exactly what you need when you have a challenging page to write or sales letter to compose.

Of course, there's the knock-on effect of helping prevent the weight-gain that can be associated with computer work as well as working the stiffness out of joints that are either doing nothing or too much whilst you are sat at the computer.

Go for a jog, bike ride, mow the lawn, do some yoga or step exercises - it doesn't matter, just do SOMETHING - regularly and appropriate to your fitness level!

Step 6. Keep it real!

Regardless of what you read in that E-zine, it is statistically unlikely that you will be an internet millionaire tomorrow (unless you are already one today, that is :-)

Doing a little, often, is usually far more productive than doing a lot occasionally.  This is more true online than anywhere else - search engines like google just LOVE fresh content that changes regularly, so why not give them what they want

Slogging away hour after hour, day after day is asking to get ill, so make a plan, keep it realistic and stick to it!  It doesn't matter if you want to write a page a day, one a week or just a couple a month - you'll soon end up with loads of great content so long as you stick at it and do a little at a time.  What's more, you won't bust a gut in the process and may even remember the faces of your family when they plead with you to get out of the computer room!

Step 7. Don't get stressed, get calm.

Stress is a killer.  It kills ideas, it kills productivity and, of course, it kills people who let it get to them. So don't be stressed.  Learn how to recognize the signs of stress and then remove the causes by following the principles of stress relief.

The trick is not to let it get on top of you.  You must stay in control and if it seems you are losing control, take a step back, evaluate and then tackle the problem - not the symptom.


At the end of the day (if you are like most internet marketers), you will not only have to get on with your home life as it existed pre- your internet marketing efforts, you will also have to maintain your job, your life and (hopefully) a few friends - yes, even internet marketers have friends :-)

Internet marketing is truly a field ANYONE can join, but this is one field where you can have some considerable gains without significant pain - as long as you do it right and look after your health in the process.

Brian Adamson
Natural Health Information Centre

This article is Copyright 2005 Natural Health Information Centre, but may be freely distributed in its entirety when properly attributed to the source

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