Many people now work in front of the computers. Because of the advancement in technology, people began to assume jobs that require the continuous interaction with computers leaving them virtually in front of the computer desk at least 5 hours a day. Aside from its effects on the eye sight, long works in front of the computer also yield problems on the body especially on the posture.
When someone stays too long in front of the computer, the head commonly moves in front in order to see the details in the computer. With the head moved forward for long periods, the neck receives the weight of the head up to ten times greater with an inch of forward position than when the head is in a neutral position. This means that when the head is 3 inches forward from the neck, the cervical spine actually receives 30 times the weight of the head. Because of this, the person may suffer from neck injuries as well as shoulder injuries that make the person drop the shoulders in front. This posture is not good as it adds additional weight to the back leading to back pains.
A forward head position is also the leading cause of pain in the neck area among those who engage in long computer works. There could be injuries involving muscle sprains and strains. It can also lead to disc herniations, pinched nerves and arthritis in the cervical area.
The effects of poor neck posture are more serious than just effects on the posture. Poor neck posture leads to chronic pain according to the American Journal of Pain management. Pain may radiate to the lower back and the shoulders.
Aside from poor neck posture, long computer works also lead to a kyphotic posture over time. Kyphosis is the excessive forward curvature of the spine similar to a hunch back. Kyphosis happens because of dropping of shoulders especially when the back is tensed and tired of bearing the weight while sitting. Persistent shoulder dropping leads to kyphosis that can lead to nerve entrapment on the back as well as spinal problems.
When one works in front of the computer most of the time, it is essential to prevent musculoskeletal injuries brought about by long computer work. Prevention of postural problems and other conditions include:
- Stand up and walk at frequent intervals during long computer work. This allows the body to be relieved of long sitting and stretches the muscles in the neck and shoulder area. It is advised to take time away from the computer every hour for five to ten minutes.
- Pay special attention to pain on the back and shoulders. When you start to feel pain on these areas, seek management from a health care provider to prevent further injury to the spine.
- Make sure that your back is supported in the seat and your feet flat on the floor. It is very important to assume a neutral position to prevent any injuries.
- Never get too close to the monitor using your head. Use your eyes instead to navigate on the keyboards and the monitor. Other people tend to move their head in front in order to see what they are working on. Avoid doing this.
It is also important to seek chiropractic care with your local Wesley Chapel chiropractor in order to have preventive measures for injuries when you work too long in front of the computer.