It is estimated that people sit 8-10 hours a day on some kind of chair either working, studying or playing computer games, and that the number is expected to increase over the next 5 years by as much as 30-50% as people become more reliant and enthralled with PC and mobile units for connecting, working and pleasure. We have made sitting an indispensable part of our daily lives and yet, we hardly think of nor have we been taught the proper ways in which to sit and use a computer. Body posture is crucial when we are sitting at a computer for long periods of time, and doing so in an inappropriate posture can hurt our hands, arms, shoulders, neck and back.
Here are some suggestions to decrease the risk of problems associated with improper posture while sitting at a computer.
One of the most important ways to decrease these injuries is choosing a suitable office chair, as it protects your spine curve. Use a taller seat back as well, as the lower and upper parts of seat back support your back curve. Sink into the chair and do not lean over as this hurts the back and defeats the chair’s purpose. Most people find it hard to relax and sink into such a chair but allow you to let go and let the chair do its work.
Another important part is your legs. The legs must parallel to the ground, and those with short legs should use a footstool. Some people like to sit cross-legged at their desk, which is fine to an extent but can cause a person to hunch over and put unnecessary pressure on the lower back, so try to maintain the feet on the ground for the sake of your back as well as stabilizing your spine and neck as well.
However, the improper place of your monitor may be another common reason of your neck and shoulder pain. The monitor should be put in a position that keeps your head and neck straight and in neutral condition. If you have a notebook, place it higher up on top of some books or on some sort of stand. Neck strain can lead to increased back and shoulder pains so this one is important. Make sure to keep the shoulders relaxed at all times.
The keyboard is another key part that you should notice for having a proper posture when using computers. If you have a chair with arms, put the keyboard a little higher than chair arms so the wrists can relax but in chairs without arms, put the keyboard near your lap. These positions also help your shoulders’ muscles and forearms remain in a proper posture and relaxed.
Another common fact between all computer users is damage to eyesight. This kind of damage doesn’t occur immediately but we can prevent it from happening just by regularly eye exercises. Close your eyes once every 10-15 minutes for about 10 seconds and put your focus on something away from the computer at a distance, ideally something which is brightly colored. You can also rub the eyes to relax the muscles and drink tea in order to prevent dryness as well as create moisture for aiding in the comfort of the eyes.
The last but not the least important part of your body are the wrists. The mouse should place next to the keyboard to keep your wrist relaxed and a little curved down. Twist your wrists around every thirty minutes and pull them back lightly to maintain comfort.
Taking a break
Take a break: quit using the computer every 30 minutes, stand up and walk around and drink a glass of water.
Stretch your body: sitting on a chair for hours cause constriction in your muscles. Stretch your legs (hamstrings), arms and fingers.
Sit on a stability ball: people usually use these balls just for exercising but you can use them when you are working with computer for a long time. Using these balls forces you body to stay in a proper posture. It strengthens your muscles too.
Eye exercises: close your eyes once an hour for seconds. Every 15 minutes look at a near object and then a far object for seconds.
All these recommendations can help the body prevent it from being subject to damage from computers and aid in allowing to do more such as playing games, working or other forms of pleasure. In the case of gamblers or Pokies users, following such guidelines will help the body relax and prepare for extended periods of playing while minimizing risk in the body.