Even though you may be using it to earn a living, with the long hours of sitting, repetitive movements, poor posture and a badly set up workstation, your computer might well be your death warrant! You could find, too late, that you have damaged the nerves and muscles in your fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and neck – causing stiffness and pain. You may gain weight, develop carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back pain. Your eyes could be dry and red as you blink less and strain to make out the screen or see in uneven lighting. As your circulation slows, your blood vessels can get clogged. So pay attention early to any pain, tingling, weakness of grip or numbness in your upper limbs if you use a computer a lot.
So if you’ll be using the computer for more than a couple of hours at a time, set it up right!
Your worktable needs to be at elbow height; ensure you have space for all the materials you will need now, and leg room.
Place the monitor at arm’s length. When you sit upright or at a very slight slant backward, its center should be just a little below straight eye level. Prevent glare by turning it at suitable angles any bright light, or curtaining a window.
Set the height of your chair so you can sit with shoulders hanging loose but reach the keyboard with wrists straight. Don’t clutch the mouse either. Let your hands float over keyboard and mouse when you’re using them. Keep elbows bent at above 90 degrees to allow free circulation. Flexing the wrist too much over the mouse causes a stiff painful wrist “mouse arm” or “carpal tunnel syndrome” – due to wrist tendons becoming swollen and compressing the nerves, in a narrow wrist space bound by ligaments and bones.
Adjust your chair’s backrest to support your lower spine. If you can’t reach the ground easily, use a footrest. Armrests are out.
Sit up! Slouching tightens up your chest muscles and rounds your back. The shoulder muscles at the back weaken. This imbalance gives you a hunch – and also a headache, and pain in the neck, shoulder or back.
Change hip and foot position every now and then. This ensures you don’t tire out your muscles – called “sitting fatigue.” Quietness reduces stress and relaxes muscles. Soft classical music to mask outside noise can help.
Our physiotherapists at Vick Physiotherapy International are trained to spot these non-ergonomic workplace habits and correct them. We offer a variety of services for pain relief; more importantly, we help you prevent such issues in the future by mobilising and strengthening your joints, and correcting your posture.
Take rest and exercise breaks. Every 30 minutes, stand up, walk around, get a glass of water and do some stretches for few minutes. Shrug your shoulders; get the blood moving. Let tired muscles relax, while inactive muscles come into action. This keeps your bones and muscles healthy at a computer. The extra activity boosts overall health too.
We would love to help you work productively and without pain. Call now on +1 (480) 335 2747 to make an appointment. You’ll be amazed how much we can change your life!
Use breathing exercises to help tighten those stomach muscles. Breathe in air as strong as you can and tuck your stomach at the same time as much as you can. Hold it for a few seconds and then slowly let it out. Don’t let it out so fast that your belly flops out. Try to breathe like this whenever you think about it, about few dozen times a day is ideal.
If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
~ Eubie Blake