Use The 20-20-20 Rule To Fight The Effects Of Sitting All Day Long

It's no secret that sitting all day damages your body, but figuring out a system to counteract that for yourself isn't easy. The New York Times suggests one simple rule you can employ is a variation on the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain.

Picture: Juhan Sonin/Flickr

The best way to counteract the negative effects of sitting is to get up and move. The 20-20-20 rule just makes that easy to remember:

Jack Dennerlein, a professor at Northeastern's Bouvé College of Health Sciences in Boston who specialises in ergonomics and safety, suggests a variation on the 20-20-20 rule used to reduce eyestrain. In the case of the eyes, the rule is to take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away (instead of your computer), and repeat this every 20 minutes. But Dr. Dennerlein notes that this eye rule can be applied to movement as well. Every 20 minutes, walk 20 feet away for 20 seconds or more. Stop by a co-worker's desk. Get a cup of coffee. Pace. Just don't sit.

All you need is a good timer to remind you to get into the habit of getting up every 20 minutes and you're all set.

Ask Well: Help for the Deskbound [New York Times]


    So basically, I have to get up every twenty minutes, walk twenty feet away, and then turn around and stare back at my desk for twenty seconds.

    Probably not the weirdest thing I've done at work.

    Chrome has an extension called 20 Cubed to prompt you to do the eye thing (but in metres, not feet, for us Aussies!)

    Aussies should be able to convert imperial to metric, as its still prevalent in many industries to use imperial, even cook books interchange, so really its just part of our culture and no Aussies didn't invent the metric system we just moved over sooner then other countries but by no means is it the default measuring system in Australia, iv worked in a diverse range of professions and your ability to convert on the fly, makes for good mental acuity.

    the 20 20 20 rule for movement adds up to between 30-40 hours per year, its better to build activity into jobs, then to simply advise movement that is not productive to the overall job, very few jobs are devoid of movement, so better design of the that movement relative to the jobs role is the way to go.

      but by no means is it the default measuring system in Australia

      ... What?

      facilitated through legislation and government agencies. SI units are now the sole legal units of measurement in Australia

    It's because there are so many countries using Imperial units.... like... ummm...

    I sit at a desk all day. To force me to move I have place my printer 20 feet from my desk. Every time I print something I have to get up to go and fetch it.

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