Aching for a change: dealing with physical effects of E-Learning

Daniel Kim and Baeyoung Yoo

After his second day of E-Learning, senior Jonathan Chu felt discomfort in his lower back and was more tired than he would be after a regular day of school.

“I would get up from sitting in my chair and I would get cramps everywhere,” Chu said in a video conference.

Dr. Jose Aguilar, chiropractic physician and president of Helping Hands Massage & Chiropractic, said in an email correspondence that some of the most common effects of sitting all day include neck and shoulder aches, general muscle soreness or stiffness, and lower back issues. Other longer-term symptoms include carpal tunnel syndrome, joint pains and fatigue.   

Aguilar said he recommends taking a five to 10 minute “micro-break” every two to three hours to do any kind of movement. 

“Simple steps to implement to prevent the adverse effects of inactivity can be stretching every few hours, going from a sitting position to standing, a short walk, even being able to take a bathroom [break] can be helpful,” said Aguilar. “As long as you’re doing something to change up the activity, it becomes beneficial to maintaining better health.”

Head Athletic Trainer Ryan Moran said in an email correspondence that his No. 1 recommendation was to stay active. 

“Start small, go on walks around your neighborhood for 10 minutes, then 20, then 30,” said Moran. “Plan a bike ride with friends on the weekends.”

According to Chu, within his first week of school, the nice weather inspired him to grab his materials and do E-Learning outside on his back porch. By changing his learning locations throughout his house, Chu is able to stay active in between classes.

“I feel like moving around is a reset.

“I feel like you get more comfortable and switching positions is beneficial,” Chu said.