Preventing Back and Neck Strain While Working
We spend hours in front of a computer screen, beside we regularly switch between a computer, tablet, TV or smartphone. And screen time soars if we use a computer all the day, leading to an imbalance in the way we use our bodies. Eventually this imbalance will cause discomfort and pain.
Behavior modification: Bad posture is the most common reason for neck and upper back pain. So learn to sit straight, don’t slouch, and keep shoulders relaxed (but not dropped forward).
Here are a few of simple fixes that will help your back and neck feel better while at work:
Chair: Use a comfortable, adjustable chair, as your ergonomic setup should start with your sitting position. When sitting, your feet should be flat on the floor, and the height of the chair should allow your thighs to angle down slightly. This position will allow you to place your weight through your “sitting bones”, rather than causing your shoulders to round out and your posture to slump forward.
Keyboard: Use keyboard tray and adjust its height. Set it high enough so when typing you aren’t forced to slump down through your shoulders to touch the keys. If the tray is too low and cannot be adjusted, place the keyboard on your desk. Place the mouse at the same level as the keyboard. If you use a touchpad, it should also be at this height.
Looking straight at the monitor: Place the monitor that its bottom is the level of your chin. This positioning can vary, with a 13-inch monitor higher than chin height, and a 24-inch monitor lower. But if the monitor is too low, you will slump down to work. If you work on a laptop, try to use a secondary monitor. In fact, the laptop screen forces users to angle their head downward and increase stress on the neck, causing neck strain and stiffness.
Avoid cell phone and tablets for emails: Cellphones and tablets are most likely to cause problems when people use them for email and texting. Indeed, people with neck and upper back pain use cellphones or tablets while reading e-mails or texting. So try to limit your workload and overall use of phones and tablets, answering emails through a computer, which assures the best chance for good posture.
Get up and walk around: Sitting in an office chair can be fatiguing. Your posture suffers the longer you sit. Try to get into the habit of standing up and walking around the office every half hour. Just set a silent alarm on your smartphone or electronic watch to go off every 30 minutes. It can be a good reminder that you’ve been sitting for quite a while. Try not to skip the alarm a few times in a row.
Anyway making sure you aren’t compromising your health for your work.
Products to try:
If you’re looking for a computer desk (anything that costs more than $100 is probably called a work-station), keep a few important points in mind.
Get one that you can raise and lower from 27 to 29 inches. Make sure it has an adjustable and sliding keyboard holder – one that is a couple of inches below the table level. Finally, spend the extra bucks and get something solid – there’s nothing more headache-inducing than a wobbly PC.
If you tend to slouch at your desk, try a contraption chair that forces you to sit straight.
Looking for a new chair? Make sure the backrest is adjustable and tilts backward. Also look for lumbar support, armrests, adjustable height, and easy-rolling wheels.
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Posture: Computer workstations can be equipped to insure good posture and proper alignment. Arms at a 90-degree angle. Keyboard at elbow height. Thighs and forearms parallel with the floor. Neck straight. Back straight. Waist straight.