Returning to education through online study is a great benefit for your personal goals and your career. Nevertheless, it’s still important to adhere to healthy study habits, even if you’re not physically going to classes or a college building.
How Can Your Health Be Affected When Studying?
When you’re focused on studying and working hard to achieve the best qualification, it’s very easy to let simple, healthy habits slip under the radar.
This could be:
- Overworking yourself and burning out
- Increased stress levels
- Lack of sleep, affected by long nights of studying
- An unhealthy diet
- Lack of hydration
- Not allowing yourself enough time off
- Eye strain
- Back or neck strain
How to Stay Healthy When Studying Online
- Set Up an Ergonomic Study Space
You need your study space to best support a healthy posture and working routine. Your study space should include the following:
- A comfortable and supportive chair, with lumbar support and arm rests
- A footrest to keep your feet elevated
- A correctly sized desk which best displays your study screen at eye-level
- A comfortable wrist support for keyboard and mouse
Be sure to adjust your study space as you see fit until you feel most comfortable.
- Take Regular Breaks
Even if it’s just simply to get up from your chair and walk around for five minutes, regular breaks away from your study station are essential for good movement and health. Stretch your legs and make sure that your short breaks see you looking at anything but a screen so you can rest your eyes.
- Have an Organized Schedule
To best ensure a healthy routine, you need to be organized with all your responsibilities. This doesn’t just mean your study schedule, but any other commitments, such as your job, your household chores and social occasions.
Having a planned schedule and keeping a diary means you can best see when you’re trying to do too much, when you last had a day off, and when you can fit in time to relax.
Furthermore, having an organized schedule means you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed trying to keep track of everything.
- Make Sure You Have a Flexible Schedule
Flexible online courses, such as those provided by Excelsior College, are what you need to fit around your schedule and ensure optimum health. The more flexibility you have, the better you can have a healthy routine which leaves you time for good habits.
- Get Healthy Study Snacks
If you enjoy snacking during your studies, then make sure to prioritize healthy ones, such as fruit and vegetable bags, when you do your grocery shopping. Eliminate any unhealthy snacks so that you’re not tempted and keep your healthy snacks on your desk with you.
- Make Sure You Have Adequate Light
Natural light can both promote a more positive mindset and help reduce eye strain. If it’s possible to have your study space within a room with generous natural light, this will be most beneficial for your health.
If you cannot position yourself close to natural light, then make sure your study area is adequately lit with artificial light, and always make sure you have a desk lamp directly over you, especially if you study in the evening.
- Get Support from Your Loved Ones
Trying to juggle online studying with other responsibilities can be stressful and overwhelming, which is why support will make all the difference. If you live with others, whether roommates, your partner or family, then be sure to discuss with them how to best share out chores and household responsibilities so that you don’t have too much on your plate.
- Take Time to De-stress
You deserve a break every now and again, so be sure to have days off or even vacations, and don’t feel obligated to always study. As long as you adhere to a flexible schedule, there will always be time for taking a break and relaxing.
- Keep a Bottle of Water Close By
Be sure to stay hydrated while you are studying, especially during long sessions. It’s easiest if you keep a water bottle on your desk with you.
- Pay Attention to Any Red Flags
You may think you’re doing fine and have a healthy study schedule, but your body and mind may be telling you otherwise. Be sure to pay attention to any problems, such as signs of exhaustion, stress or discomfort when studying. Pay attention to how you feel emotionally and mentally, as well as physically, to make sure that your studying is not becoming too much for you.
While studying to better yourself is an admirable goal, it should never come at the cost of your health, so be sure to best combine the two for a healthy lifestyle.