While studying, I find lately that I can lose myself for hours and not even realize that I have been sitting for that long. When I stand up, I have the worst pain in my legs and back, as well as a stiff neck. I noticed this more lately since starting my last semester of basic sciences because it’s ‘crunch time’ – I have to make the most of every day to ensure that I finish strong before beginning to prepare for Step 1. It’s too easy to get lost studying/sitting in one place, and afterward suffering from stiffness and pain.
One thing I did to combat this was to utilize the timer on my phone. This allows me to set a certain length of time where I can focus and study, and after the time is up, an alarm goes off to remind me to stand up, stretch, and take a break. Another tip is to make your study space comfortable. I do not have the luxury of a comfortable office chair, so I had to improvise and lay down a blanket and pillow to make my space more comfortable while sitting for long periods of time. The same thing happens to me in class – I find that if I sit for longer than 1 hour, I get very restless and sore. Make sure to take breaks roughly every hour during class periods. Get up and walk around, socialize with friends, and refill your water bottle. Turn off your computer/tablet for a few minutes to rest your eyes. Getting into a habit now to take breaks for yourself will be beneficial for your overall health in the long run!