The concern most people have for the physical well-being of desk workers is minimal at best. Sitting in a chair and looking at a computer for eight (or more) hours a day does not exactly put us in the path of much physical danger, but just because we are not breaking a sweat or dodging bullets doesnt mean we 're totally safe from harm. The corporate / home office is an unnatural environment for humans and working there for forty-plus hours a week can cause headaches … literally. Headaches are no fun for you and drain your productivity, so learning which workplace activities cause them and how to prevent them will help you be a happier and more productive worker all around.
Every time you look at something, the muscles that make your eyes focus have to work. If you work in a place with inconsistent lighting from windows, fluorescent overhead lights, and computer monitors, your eyes have to work overtime to adjust to each type of light depending on where you are looking. Overworking your eye muscles can cause headaches. If you have ever spent time wearing the wrong glasses, you know exactly what it feels like for your eyes to be overworked. The best thing you can do to combat this type of headache is to try to make the lighting in your environment more consistent. Close the blinds from time to time (lame, I know), turn off your computer monitor, or close your eyes for a few minutes to give them a rest.
The posture most people grow accustomed to while sitting at a desk for eight or more hours at a time, typing and clicking and slouching in a chair, puts unhealthy amounts of pressure on the neck and shoulders. Combine that with any kind of job or family related stress, and you have a recipe for tension headaches. The best thing you can do to combat tension headaches learn to manage the stress in your life (easier said than done, obviously) and pay attention to your post while you are sitting at your desk. Use an office chair that is supportive and makes it easy and comfortable for you to sit up straight. Adjust your monitor height to just below your eye level and adjust your arm rests so that your elbows can rest comfortably on them without pushing your shoulders up. Try to keep your ears over your shoulders and your hip bones aligned. Every few hours, get up to stretch your legs, back, neck, and shoulders.
We're trained to believe that our minds are always more powerful than our physical circumstances (mind over matter) but we need to acknowledge the effects that our physical surroundings have on us too. Physical triggers cause headaches frequently and the better we get at addressing the things that cause headaches at work, the sooner we can get back to being comfortable, healthy, and productive in the workplace.