In our prior blogs we have discussed the importance of posture and movement in the treatment and prevention of pain. Unfortunately, the reality is that the majority of individuals in the work place spend most of their day sitting at a computer. These days, the average patient spends 1-2 hours of time commuting and 8 hours sitting at their desk. Many patients we treat have at least a portion of their condition related to poor posture and prolonged sitting both at work and at home. If this is your lifestyle and you are not making a conscious effort to exercise and use proper ergonomics your posture and health will ultimately be negatively affected. Many larger companies have ergonomic specialist which can assist the worker in the proper placement of their work station, however, that service is not readily available for smaller companies or home use. Laptop computers are becoming more and more common which present additional ergonomic concerns as they sit lower on the desk than a standard monitor and have both the mouse and the keyboard essentially attached to the monitor.
Here are some specific tips to insure you are minimizing the negative postural impact on your spine while working on your computer/laptop.
1. Use a large as screen as practical 2. Place the screen at eye level 3. Don’t slouch 4. Use a separate keyboard 5. Use a separate mouse 6. Recline slightly 7. Prop up your feet and avoid crossing your legs 8. Make your chair work for you 9. Take a break 10. Travel light
Remember, even with the best of ergonomics, no one position is good for prolonged periods of time. During your breaks be sure to incorporate some stretching and movement.
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