If you work for long periods of sitting down at a computer, over the course of the day you tend to get so absorbed into your work you slouch and forget to focus on your post which creates unnecessary tension in your body. As a yoga teacher a lot of my students complain about back pain and neck tension caused by sitting incorrectly at their desk. In today's post, I share good computer sitting tips to relate the pressure on your back and neck muscles.
In the USA, back pain is believed to be the number one cause of disability in workers under the age of 45. And in the UK, back pain is one of the leading causes of work-related absences.
Aches and pains and discomfort is the body's way of telling you something is wrong. Constantly ignoring your pain, hoping it will go away often leads to more serious injury. Everyone has their own “pain threshold”, so the more body aware you are, the easier it becomes for you to spot and identity soreness and pain in your body.
There are many causes of back pain and pain that occur in the lower, middle or upper back, for example you can have a prolapsed disc, collapsed vertebrae, osteoporosis, muscle strain and disc protrusion, spondylolysis, spinal arthritis, sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis or scoliosis, all of these conditions require proper medical diagnosis and treatment which is outside the scope of this eBook.
What Is “Good Posture?”
Good post is posture that allows you to move freely, with ease and smooth co-regulation, poise and balance. Your movements become fluid and strange as it looks, the less effort you place on your body to move, the easier it is for you to sit upright in a comfortable and relaxed manner, which places less stress on your back, shoulders and neck muscles.
Often, when I ask students to sit correctly they immediately stiffen their backs, hold their breath and tighten their neck muscles. Office workers, who sit all day at a desk hunched over a computer keyboard are at risk of back pain. Notice how you sit next time you answer the phone or stand at the printer or coffee machine.
If you tend to over-arch your lower back when sitting down at work, or slouch or slump in your chair when you sit at your desk, chances are the end of the day you'll feel discomfort, soreness and even pain in your lower, middle and upper back. You may even experience neck ache and eye strain caused by the way you sit and twist your body at your desk to answer the phone or work on multiple screens at the same time.
Good Posture Tip:
Whether standing or sitting, aim to be aware of your posture. Think back care and look at ways to support and protect your back, neck and shoulders to prevent stress and stress building up in your body.
· Be aware of the positioning of your back and head. Keep your neck in line with your back
· Think about increasing the length of your neck, allow your shoulders to relax, broaden your chest and adjust your body so your back, shoulders and neck are in alignment.
· When bending, bend at your hips and knees, squat or kneel to pick things up, keep your knees in line with your feet and keep your back upright.
· Keep both feet flat on the floor, toes pointing forward, weight even distributed on the balls of your feet and heels.
· Avoid twisting and overstretching to reach things. Always position yourself in front of the object you wish to lift. Use your legs to lift, not your back
Sitting At A Computer Posture Tip:
If you work for a conscientious and health aware organization, then your work will be ergonomically designed to accommodate your height and individual needs. Even if your monitor, keyboard, desk and chair are set up correctly, it is still necessary for you to be aware of how you sit.
· Make sure your elbows are in line with or above your wrist as you type, you may need to adjust your chair height to facilitate this or use a support to keep your hands and wrists aligned.
· Rest your feet on a foot rest or keep them flat on the floor, toes pointing forward.
· Bring your chair to an upright position and avoid leaning backwards and sagging in your chair.
· Support your lower back, allow your neck to lengthen and feel balanced on top of your spell.
· Raise your screen to eye level, an arm's length away. If the screen is too low or far away you have to lean forward and hunch to hunch to read the screen which leads to tension in your neck and tightness in your shoulder blades.
· With the screen at eye level place the keyboard below. You should be able to quickly glance between your screen and keyboards only using your eyes.
· Type mindfully, be gentle as you touch the keys.
· Take frequent breaks and remember to breathe!
In this article we have looked at various things you can safely do to protect your back and neck from extra tension and strain.
The key points I would like you to be aware of are:
· Be aware of the positioning of your back and head.
· Keep your head in line with your back
· Bend at the hips, squat or kneel and keep your back straight when bending.
· Avoid twisting your torso when bending over to move things or pick up heavy objects.