Optimize your performance and prevent computer - related injuries with Healthy Computing Email Tips. Each week we provide hints to help you stay healthier while working.

Are you forced to keep your knees close together or your feet tucked under your chair because the space beneath your desk has become your personal locker? Do you cram a wastebasket, attach case, purse, files or supplies under your desk? Restricting movement of our legs and feet while sitting at the computer may reduce circulation to the legs and increase back discomfort and stiffness(think of how you feel when flying coach on a long flight). Increase body comfort when you create LEG AND FOOT ROOM.

HOW TO CREATE LEG AND FOOT ROOM:

Inspect whether your feet have space to play. Is there enough room to straighten your legs so that your heels rest on the floor and carry the weight of your legs? Can you shift your legs and feet around so you can move in your chair to change positions for different activities?

If not, clear the space under your desk so that it is possible to extend your legs and move your feet in a ten - inch circle.

After you have created space, integrate leg and foot movement during the day so that more freedom of movement is possible for your hips and back. Explore the following playful foot movements during the day.

Write your name with your big toe on the floor - - be sure to continue to breathe.
Draw small circles in the air with your feet.
Imagine that you are playing the bongo drums using your feet and tap a beat with the ball of the foot on the floor.

Remember: Fidgeting is healthful and encourages good circulation.

Copyright 2002 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney