Monday, January 13, 2014

Tips for Sitting at the Computer to Reduce Your Pain

Long hours at the computer require our bodies to be in a position they just were not meant to be in, especially for several hours a day. Unfortunately this is a reality for many people in their daily occupation, and can lead to chronic neck, back and shoulder discomfort. Though this position may be unavoidable, there are some ways to minimize the discomfort and burden sitting at a computer all day places on our bodies. Some of these tips include:
** Seating Posture** Adjust your seating chair so that the lower back is properly supported with the knees slightly higher than the hips, using a footrest if necessary. Keep the back as straight as you can, shoulders relaxed, and avoid slouching and rounding the shoulders. One way is to check in with your posture every 15-30 minutes and make adjustments if necessary. I know it's hard but don't worry, you can do it!
** Chair Adjustment** The height of your chair should allow for using the keyboard with wrists and forearms level with the desk. Elbows should be at your side, forming an L shape at the elbow joint.
** Rest Your Feet On Floor** Keep your feet flat on the floor or flat on a footrest, with hips and knees in alignment. Avoid crossing the legs, which can inhibit circulation to legs and hips, leading to further problems.
**Save Your Eyes** It is best to keep the screen roughly at eye level to prevent eye strain, neck pain, and shoulder fatigue. Having the screen too high or low can cause you to bend the neck in awkward positions and lead to discomfort by the end of the day.
**Keyboard** Place the keyboard in front of you and leave a gap of about four to five inches to allow for your wrists to rest. Keep your elbows directly under your shoulders. A wrist rest can be helpful to keep the wrists at the same level of the keys.
**Keep the mouse close** Keep the mouse as close to you as possible.
**Take regular breaks** Frequent, short breaks are best. Walking a short distance every hour helps prevent stiffness. The muscles and joints will eventually feel pain if they are in the same position too long.
**Switch Positions Frequently** Switching positions frequently can help take stress off certain tissues.
**Stretch and Exercise Regularly** Regular exercise really helps maintain fluidity of the joints and free movement of the muscles. Core strengthening exercises for the abdomen and thoracic area can help maintain upright postures, preventing slouching that occurs when the shoulders become tired and the day progresses.
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