Are You Too Glued to Your Computer, Too?

addictionThe only reason I don’t have a dog yet is the prospect of morning walks in Paris winters. But I’ve survived three of those now, and have decided I’m going to get the dog anyway. So I’ve been trolling local animal shelter sites regularly. I thought I’d found one last week, but somebody beat me to him. The search goes on.

This is not only about my wanting a dog; it’s more about the lifestyle changes and bad habits that can gradually take hold when you start working from home, if you’re not careful.

Before I started working exclusively from home, I was an in-house tech writer at a software company. I lived in San Diego in a cute little shack, a block from where the San Diego River met the Pacific. There was a paved path along the river I used to rollerblade on. Six miles round trip — perfect for regular decompression and staving off full-body atrophy.

Let me be clear about one thing. I hate exercising. I like to rollerblade because I feel like a kid when I do it. The fact that it’s good exercise is just a fortunate side effect.

But after three years of working from home in Paris — not the most blade-friendly city — I’ve decided I have to make a change that will get me out of my chair more often and get the blood really flowing. I’ve noticed that I have less energy and less stamina than I did only three years ago. I don’t feel nearly as fit as I used to. In the last three years I think my caffeine intake has about tripled, too. I’m sure the two are related.

I find that these days work time at my computer blends much too seamlessly into play time at my computer. I spend far less time doing non-computer things I used to really enjoy, like cooking, and things I didn’t necessarily enjoy but was usually a little more diligent about, like cleaning the house.

Something’s gotta give. And since the cobblestones (and insane drivers) don’t lend themselves to rollerblading, I think the next best thing is walking. A dog. Frequently. Don’t worry, I’m an experienced dog mom, and getting out of the office is not my primary reason for wanting one. That would be wrong. A dog is a being, not a Bowflex.

So the plan is to find the perfect pooch, unplug a few times a day, be in the moment and the sun (at least part of the year), and stretch my lazy legs. Wish me luck.

If working from home led to lifestyle changes that you weren’t too happy about, please let us know what you did to shake things up. I could use the advice. And I’m sure I’m not alone.

Image by flickr user jpmath

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