NYSUT – Staying Healthy While Teaching Virtually

A special shoutout and thank you to all our Teachers and TAs this week for the incredible job you are doing to teach our students during distance learning. The Rep Council applauds your efforts. During this time, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Here are a few great ideas from Rep Council Member Gina Scaglione from a recent NYSUT workshop. Thanks Gina!

Posture: Having an incorrect posture can lead to back, neck and shoulder strain as well as headaches.

  • Butt @ back of chair
  • Put a rolled up towel or pillow in the small of your back for support
  • Shoulders straight
  • Head over butt (no turtle posture – neck sticking out from shoulders)

Chromebooks/Laptops:

  • If you’re using a laptop think about purchasing a keyboard for it.
  • Try to make your monitor at eye level, but your keyboard at elbow height.
  • If you can’t then take turns – 20 mins @ eye level, 20 mins @ elbow level.

Phones & Tablets:

  • If you’re working on your phone, use two hands to type to avoid hand strain.
  • Dictate into your phone – then just check/fix what was written.
  • If you’re working on a tablet do NOT hold the tablet.  It can give you elbow strain.  Prop the tablet up on something (a desk with something sturdy behind it, or consider buying a case that allows it to be propped up).

General Health:

  • Take a walk-around break – 20 mins of work, 3 mins walk around.
  • Blink your eyes on purpose to avoid dry eyes &/or a headache.
  • Avoid using arm rests as they place your elbows are weird angles.

Mental Health:

  • Make & stick to a work schedule (doesn’t have to be your usual work hrs, whatever works for you & your family)
  • Eat – healthy & @ normal hrs
  • Get outside as much as possible (to work or for exercise)
  • If it’s not nice out – sit by open windows to get natural light
  • Get moving – @ least a ½ hr of walking or more 
  • Every 2-3 hrs do some body weight workouts (push ups, crunches, etc)
  • Shower everyday & try to dress nice once in a while if it makes you feel better (more “you”)
  • Most important – LOG OFF @ whatever time you deem appropriate (@ the end of your workday – as you define it – log off the computer – you are done for the day!!).  Remember – you wouldn’t answer every email or question a child had 24/7 if we were in school, so no one should expect you to do that now.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule 

***The most important rule the presenter had was – FORGIVE YOURSELF!!!  You’re going to screw up (@ home/@work) or be sad some days.  It’s ok.  Forgive yourself & move on.  

Ergonomics Anywhere Anytime Tips

Computer Workstation Injury Prevention

Ergonomics – Smartphones

A simple app called Tomato-Timer is available on the web at Tomato-Timer.com or in the Google Play Store. There are others listed under break reminders and productivity apps.

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