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Real Life Health = Second Life Health


Alyha
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I am new to Second Life and I'm interested in health matters. I know a lot about health, nutrition, and wellness and wanted to see if there was others like me in SL. I want to keep topics like the one that follows going and help to inform others about these matters.

Who thinks that Real Life health can impact Second Life health? Many of us don't realize how much time we actually spend at the computer in Second Life and how our health can suffer for it, thus causing us to have less time on Second Life than we would like. Who knows of some ways in which we can combat this effect and still stay on Second Life the amount of time we do?

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It's all about common sense really.

This is a bit of a generalisation, but it's probably fair to say that a good proportion of SL users have some sort of health issue. It's interesting because, for those people, SL can be a means to socialise, interact and do creative things that might otherwise be difficult for them to do because of their RL health. So in that respect SL can be a good activity for people with health issues. It does require the person to be sensible though as sitting at the computer for hour on end could also possibly worsen health issues.

Which is why it's all about common sense. Each person's particular circumstances may be different and only they can truly know what is good and what is bad for them (along with health advice from RL professionals of course). Use SL wisely and it can be a good thing if you have RL health issues. Just be cautious not to neglect your RL health and not to allow anything in SL (or the internet in general) to become too much of a burden and stress you out or make your condition worse :)

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That was a very good reply and I couldn't agree with you more. Here are some other ideas that you might want to employ (if possible)

1. Set the alarm clock of every 30-45 minutes and when it goes off use that time to get up and stretch, get some water and generally move around for about 10-15 minutes.

2. Get up and eat your meals away from the computer. Your body can't digest properly if it is distracted with playing SL.

3. Stay hydrated... When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated and chugging water is not going to fix this. I recommend having a water bottle or glass of water near you at all times.

4. If you are going to be sitting playing SL more than you are going to be moving around, stay away from the junk and high starch foods. These will only make you gain weight faster if you are eating them and not moving around.

 

If we can all incorporate just a few of these healthy suggestions, we can maintain a healthier RL and in turn a healthier SL.

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Alhya, you should check out Virtual Ability Island and HealthInfo Island (they're adjacent to one another). They have lots of info on issues related to health and disabilities, and lots of people who I'm sure could give an informed and educated viewpoint on your questions.

Personally, my RL doesn't give me much time for playing SL lately so I never get to the point where my online time is impacting on my health. I can see that it might though, if I was disabled enough that I couldn't work, for instance.

I think one of the big things is making sure you get enough time away from the computer to eat properly, and get sufficient physical exercise (as appropriate to one's physical abilities).

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Alyha wrote:

[...] Many of us don't realize how much time we actually spend at the computer in Second Life and how our health can suffer for it, thus causing us to have less time on Second Life than we would like. Who knows of some ways in which we can combat this effect and still stay on Second Life the amount of time we do?

What makes you think that people are idly sitting in an office chair when they use their computer? :) I, for one, am often walking, jogging or biking when I browse the web or play Second Life, for at least two hours a day.

This is my treadmill setup. I've added a little desk and a monitor platform:

s01.jpg

s02.jpg

It's hard to type while I'm jogging, so I usually either walk at a medium pace or stick to computer activities that don't require typing, such as reading news articles or forums.

What works much better for all kinds of online activities is a stationary bicycle, which is the newest addition to my little multimedia fitness studio:

s03.jpg

s04.jpg

Instead of a monitor, I use my 50" plasma TV. But the little selfmade desk would also be perfectly suited for a notebook.

I'm amazed that nobody sells something like this as of yet. One should think that in a world where more and more people are online for 12 hours a day or more, a lot of them would be looking for a way to stay connected while working out.

And a stationary bicycle is just perfect for computer work. I often don't even notice anymore that I'm using my legs. I could sit there and work or chat while pedaling away for hours on end, and I often do just that. A padded gel cover for the saddle is a must of course :)

 

PS: Every workplace should have one of these, imho. The employees could take turns during the day. Imagine what that could do for the public health.

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Alyha wrote:

That was a very good reply and I couldn't agree with you more. Here are some other ideas that you might want to employ (if possible)

1. Set the alarm clock of every 30-45 minutes and when it goes off use that time to get up and stretch, get some water and generally move around for about 10-15 minutes.

2. Get up and eat your meals away from the computer. Your body can't digest properly if it is distracted with playing SL.

3. Stay hydrated... When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated and chugging water is not going to fix this. I recommend having a water bottle or glass of water near you at all times.

4. If you are going to be sitting playing SL more than you are going to be moving around, stay away from the junk and high starch foods. These will only make you gain weight faster if you are eating them and not moving around.

 

If we can all incorporate just a few of these healthy suggestions, we can maintain a healthier RL and in turn a healthier SL.

I agree with all of that except for second point :) The only danger of working or reading while eating is that one doesn't really concentrate on the task at hand and forgets to chew properly. Aside from that, the gastrointestinal digestion process only really kicks into gear after your meal and continues for hours. If you couldn't digest food while sitting at a PC, you could never use a PC at all.

The important thing is to avoid stress as much as possible. Stress pretty much disables many of the internal processes that are controlled by the parasympathetic and enteric nervous system, such as food digestion. That's why stress can lead to all kinds of digestive problems. Which means that if your computer activities are not stressful for you, there is nothing that speaks against eating at your desk :)

It also means that if anything stresses you during the day, don't do it anymore. Quit a stressful job, get divorced from a partner that annoys you, give your kids up for adoption, and generally do whatever it takes to avoid stress as much as possible. Very few things are as bad for your health as stress.

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I would also add high calory drinks to your point 4, such as most soft drinks. They are a main contributor to weight gain. Stick to water, tea, and coffee (coffee drinkers should drink a lot of water in addition, since coffee dehydrates the body). And sugar-free isotonic drinks in the summer months, which help to replenish the minerals that one loses through sweating. A glass of fruit juice is not a drink to quench the thirst, it's a small meal (not to mention a can of coke, which is pretty much the caloric equivalent of two breakfasts).

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Buy the hourglass that tells you how many hours you have been logged on, and follow it. One that I've found that works great is by Thickbrick Sleaford for $150. It sends reports by email too.

New Vermont Enterprises

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Brolga/150/11/351

You can probably find other gadget stores with this.

Angrybeth Shortbread makes a bear gadget you wear that tells you when to log off:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/The%20Port/18/28/26   Look for the bus that has her educational devices in it. It's $75.

I don't think you can really expect Second Life, which is sedentary, to help you with your RL health. You have to make a RL health plan, and stick to it inside RL, and SL will fall into place if you are serious.

 

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@Ishtara: I can't believe that you are advising people to avoid stress! Here! In the official SL forums! Where you yourself have been exposing yourself to manifold stresses for the last year or so at least! Get on that exercise bike and get out of these forums NOW! For your own good! Cato PS Apologies for all those potentially stress inducing exclamation marks. I have been told that I don't suffer from stress but I am a carrier of the disease. Sorry!

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I also loved that set up with the exercise machines and may end up employing it myself if I can get it built. I myself am not very talented when it comes to building things in RL or SL. Everyone's replies to my thread are very good and informative. Like I said, I have seen so many threads on fashion, building, and the such that I decide to do one on health and see who would answer and what they thought. I was thinking about doing some classes in SL on health and Wellness but was not sure how good it would be attended, so decided to try some threads about it instead here. Then decide about the classes in SL on how well it was received here and if others thought it would be a good idea.

P.S.. You should really market those exercise equipment ideas.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

@ Ishtara: Well I am flabbergasted (and impressed)-- yes, whoever markets this thing will become a billionaire many times over. Why not you?

Perhaps not a billionaire, but I'm quite sure that there is money in the idea of a fitness workplace or a computer desk add-on for existing sports equipment.

Alas, I'm not allowed to earn more than 400 Euro a month in addition to my early retirement pension. At least not until I'm 65. I'd rather not lose my pension and have relative financial security for the rest of my life than taking any chances. So if anybody wants to market something like this, go ahead :)

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Cato Badger wrote:

@Ishtara: I can't believe that you are advising people to avoid stress! Here! In the official SL forums! Where you yourself have been exposing yourself to manifold stresses for the last year or so at least! Get on that exercise bike and get out of these forums NOW! For your own good! Cato PS Apologies for all those potentially stress inducing exclamation marks. I have been told that I don't suffer from stress but I am a carrier of the disease. Sorry!

It wasn't really stressful for the most part. In fact, I find heated debates to be quite relaxing :)

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Ishtara wrote:

What makes you think that people are idly sitting in an office chair when they use their computer?
:)
I, for one, am often walking, jogging or biking when I browse the web or play Second Life, for at least two hours a day.

<snip>

 

That is amazing!  I love it! 
jump.gif

 

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