These days most people spend many hours seated every day. The vast majority of people work at a computer screen and then enjoy social media, computer games, online videos and more. Unfortunately, spending so many hours at the computer can be very hard on the back. The human body was meant to be up and moving around. It is very hard to be suited to all these sedentary hours. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help belay the problems caused by excessive sitting.
Be sure your desk is of a proper height. It should not be much higher than your lap. In fact, you may be better off placing your keyboard on your lap or on a lap board than on your desk. In this way, your elbows will stay at your sides, and your forearms will be parallel with your thighs and the floor. This is ideal. Of course, if you use a laptop computer, you will want to have a sturdy lap board or pad between your lap and the computer to protect yourself from heat and radiation.
Another very good way to alleviate back pain and support good posture is to invest in a good typing chair. Be certain to choose a chair that supports your back in a way that does not cause you to scrunch or slump. Be careful of choosing a typing chair with arm rests. Unless they are properly positioned, they will cause you to scrunch your shoulders and hunch your back when typing.
Proper typing posture (feet on the floor, back straight, elbows at your sides, eyes front and straight ahead, and hands curved just above the keyboard) goes a long way toward alleviating computer related back pain. This is especially true if you simply have a lot of typing to do. You can get more done quickly and with less pain if you are properly positioned to work efficiently. If you slouch or sit in a strange position while working at your computer, you are sure to suffer pain.
When you are engaged in computer activities other than typing, it’s good to change your seating arrangement from time to time. If you are able to move around to work, sit in a traditional desk setting sometimes. Other times, you might want to sit on the floor or in a larger, more comfortable chair. You could use an exercise ball as a chair to get a good abdominal workout and keep your blood circulating nicely as you watch a video, surf the internet or perform some other task. If you have a voice recognition program, you can brainstorm with yourself, compose and create without even looking at your screen. Stand up and walk around or stretch while dictating.
Be sure to stretch before and after long sessions at the keyboard, and take frequent breaks (every 20 minutes or so) to stretch, walk around and rest your eyes. Engage in exercise that will help keep you limber to avoid repetitive use injuries. Yoga, swimming and walking are excellent choices.
If you do suffer back pain, a repetitive use injury or strain, take a break and do something different for a day or two. Remember to take nice, hot baths and showers to relax your muscles and make use of heat and ice therapy and the support of wrist braces, wraps and other supportive devices as needed.
By being aware of your posture, caring for your body, taking breaks and adding a little variety to your working environment, you can avoid back pain and repetitive use injury caused by long hours at the computer. Follow the tips here to design your own back pain prevention program.