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Health Tip: Peripheral Vision
Gigi shares health related information she has learned over the years - today: reactivate your peripheral vision
I'm the one who is noted for doing the kooky health-related things in the office. There was the time I hurt my rotator cuff which led to my doing exercises that everyone called "doing my elephant impression"; and I do Trager exercises to shake my shoulders out when I have been sitting at the computer too long; and of course, I brought in the rebounder.
Many a time I have looked up and spotted people in the office across the street staring perplexedly at me out the window.
So, I've decided to share what exactly it is I am doing, and why. Maybe I'll call it "Crazy Coworker Health Tips". Or: "What, pray tell, are you doing NOW?"
Today's Tip -- Natural Vision Improvement: Use Your Full Visual Field
Yesterday in my session with Vision Educator Elizabeth Abraham I learned something new: reactivate your peripheral vision by blocking your central field of vision -- the opposite of tunnel vision, which is sort of what you get when you spend too much time focused on your computer.
You can achieve this by affixing a 3.5" x 5" piece of black paper to your nose. I blacked out the back of a business card and when affixed (see picture; in this case it goes landscape as opposed to portrait, the scotch tape goes along your nose -- and no, I will not take a picture with it on me) it's almost perfect, except that I can see a bit over the top and at the bottom (two cards would probably be perfect).
You can even just use your hand -- better still if you can cover it with black fabric. Just make sure that when you stare straight ahead, you can only see about half paper (or hand) and half world around you.
Now stand up, and rotate your body gently from side to side, while staring straight ahead. Actually, if you have a typical office chair that spins, you don't even have to get up, but you may as well since taking a standing break now and again is good for you.
What you want to do is notice the items that move past, while continuing to stare ahead. After a minute or two of staring at dead space (the black card) your central vision and the part of your brain that is activated while you are staring at your monitor will give up and go to sleep, while your peripheral vision will perk up.
Continue to rotate gently until about 3 minutes have passed, then stop, and remove the card (or your hand).
You should notice that your eyes feel more relaxed when you are done and that you are actually using the full range of vision, making it easier to focus and read.
Pro tip! If you know your way around the office well (and, you know, don't care what your coworkers think) you can use this time to go get a glass of water and get a bit of exercise and hydration in too. Don't do it if you are going to bump into stuff, though.
Bonus -- the Crazy Coworker recommendation: Bates Method of natural vision improvement.
I started working with Elizabeth Abraham on my vision in 2005, once a week at first, and within 2 months I stopped wearing my glasses and haven't worn them since. Now, I had astigmatism so that is a reasonable outcome (it's a muscular issue rather than something physically wrong with the eye), but the info that you will learn working with a Bates Method teacher -- on nutrition, exercise, relaxation, etc. -- will help you prevent much of the visual deterioration that most people believe to be a "normal part of aging".
I don't seem to have many photos of me in glasses from that era, but that's me then.
Next post: Work-related stress linked to increased blood fat levels, cardiovascular health risks 2013-05-17 14:44:44
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