Posture at your Computer
I love computers, they are going to keep me in the Therapy Industry forever.
The reason for this is because most people who use a computer for the majority of their work will develop problems in their neck, shoulders, upper and middle back. This will occur because of extended periods spent with poor posture at your computer without movement and exercise.
Many companies believe that because they have given their staff good chairs, the staff will not develop back problems. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as the staff need to learn the best way to use their chair and the best way to set up their work station. Poor posture at your computer will result in your back and shoulders being painful, loss of earnings through time of work and a general feeling of being run down.
Changing your Computer Posture
You will notice from this picture that our person has their bottom right in the chair and is using the chair back to support their upper body. This promotes a totally neutral muscle position as none of the muscles are being over exerted to maintain this position. The legs can be regularly repositioned to avoid getting a ‘numb bum’.
Your work station also needs to be laid out correctly. Keeping the mouse, phone and writing impliments either side of the keyboard reduces the need for continual stretching across your desk. If you work from paper documents it can be awkward finding space to place this and keep your keyboard near to you. It is recommended that this is held in a purpose made holder or frame that can stand on your desk.
One point of note that will explain the height of the screen. Us humans like to have our face parallel with any screen we are viewing close up (and a visual necessity with modern flat screens). Having the screen at almost head height stops the need for head tilt and ‘craning’ our head backwards to get our face parallel with the screen. It also needs to be mentioned that the screen MUST be within a 30 degree arch from the persons centreline. This is essential to stop excessive stress on the neck muscles.
The reality is that there is no perfect solution to setting up your work station. Compremise will be required to carry out your daily work but if you bear in mind the simple set-up above you will lessen the longterm impact on your body.
The Final Important Part
The last important part to improve your posture at your computer is…………. NOT sitting hour after hour in the same position, bashing away at your keyboard ! Every half an hour, get up from your chair, stretch, walk around the office/go to the water machine/go to the toilet for at least a couple of minutes before returning to your desk.
I know it is easy to become engrosed in work you are doing, or having your Boss breathing down your neck for that report. BUT, if you are fit to work you will perform better and get more done….. SO get up and move around ever half an hour, you will feel so much better for it.
Prevention is better than cure !
If you spend your working life with poor posture at your computer, without heeding the advise above you WILL develop problems in your upper back, shoulders and neck. These problems WILL NOT just go away and they WILL impact on every part of your life as you grow older. It is YOUR responsility to keep yourself fit to work and in a condition to be able to enjoy a pain free life. Make some small changes now that your body WILL reward you for in the future.
Oh, in case you didn’t know, I have escaped the Ratrace and have an on-line income and I show people how they can do the same. For more details email me: firstname.lastname@example.org