In our last article we discussed the painful side effects of bad computer posture. The proliferation of laptops has only worsened the situation, as people adapt to smaller screens and keyboards. Certainly, Body Fix Therapies of Sacramento can provide you with the therapeutic massage that will reduce or remove your pain, but it’s better to avoid creating pain in the first place! So if you are experiencing muscular pain and you believe your posture is contributing, how should you sit when using a computer?
It Starts with the Screen
The middle of the screen is ideally at eye level. This will likely require using a stand of some sort to raise the monitor. This may create complications with laptops, as the screen and keyboard are linked, yet the screen needs to be “high,” while the keyboard needs to be ‘low.” Consider purchasing a laptop dock with a separate monitor and keyboard.
The screen should be close so that you don’t need to lean forward to read it. Do you find it difficult to find the right spot? You may need a visit to an optometrist to see if your eyes need a new prescription. You can also change your settings so that the font sizes are larger.
How to Position your Body
- Your head, neck and back should be straight.
- Your shoulders should be completely relaxed and not holding your arms up into a keyboarding or mousing position. Your armrests should be at the right height to place your hands and forearms at a ninety-degree angle to your shoulders without you having to lift them into that position. Keeping the keyboard reasonably close helps you to do this.
- Use a chair with back support, so that the small of your back does not become sore.
- Your feet should rest on the floor and your legs should have a comfortable ninety-degree bend. Curling your feet around chair legs or lifting your heels off the floor and supporting weight with bent toes is a sure way to create pain in your feet.
- Support your wrists if necessary with a wrist pad.
- Get Up Frequently. This means at least 1 time per hour, preferably 1 time every 30 minutes. Setting reminders on your phone or computer can help with this!
No matter how comfortable you are, you should not to sit in a chair for hour after hour with no breaks! While chair exercises are good, actually getting up and out of the chair is even better. Our bodies are made to move frequently!
Take a Picture
With smart phones it’s easy to get a good picture of yourself seated in front of your computer. Don’t just do a selfie! Get a comrade to take a picture of you in your usual position. Ask them to snap a candid shot when you least expect it so you can see just what habits you start to “fall into” when left alone. Compare these pictures to our directions above to determine if you need to make further improvements to your computer posture or workstation. You may find evidence that the pain you experience at the end of a workday is directly related to how you sit in front of a computer.