The increasing number of back injuries such as low back pain, neck injuries, and poor posture is caused primarily by the increasing use of desktop computers. Most computers have the monitor set up either lower or higher than the eyes that allows the neck to adjust to the height of the monitor. This occurrence increases the cases of neck injuries such as cervicomuscular strain as the neck assumes a forward-downward position or a forward-upward position just to allow the user to see what he is doing.
Aside from the monitors, the height of the desk also may lead to musculoskeletal problems in people, leading to more visits to your local Wesley Chapel chiropractor. A very high or very low desk allows the elbow and shoulder joints to assume an abnormal position that may lead to strain injuries in the area. Over time, the neck and other joint injuries can affect the back to compensate with the strain. For instance, the forward positioning of the head and neck will cause tension on the upper back. Tension on the shoulder and joint areas will further affect the lower backs as the person adjusts forward.
In line with these, it is essential to have a properly positioned desk and monitor in terms of height to prevent musculoskeletal injuries that may arise. The following outline discuses the most important considerations when positioning your monitor or desk.
The key to positioning your monitor is to never lean forward just to look at it. The best height of the monitor should allow you to glance at the upper half of the screen when your eyes are looking straight. Basically, people have varied heights, so there is really no exact height for the monitor. What is important is your eyes are in line with the upper half of the screen. If you cannot adjust the monitor itself, you may adjust your chair to allow you to glance at the monitor at the proper height.
Aside from the height of the monitor, the tilt is also important t. This allows better visualization as the lights are better reflected. There should be 10 to 20 degree tilt of the monitor backwards.
The desk should be positioned in such a way that your elbows maintain a right angle position near your trunk when using the mouse. Very high or very low mouse may lead to Radial Tunnel Syndrome that will cause pain in the sides of the forearm.
When you work on the keyboards, the elbows should also be in a right angle. Reaching keyboards that are too high places tension on the carpal tunnel that can lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes the wrist and the fingers to be stiff.
Aside from the correct height of the monitor and desk, other considerations when working in front of the computer include:
- Having your feet flat on the floor with the knees slightly higher (about 2 to 3 cm) than the thighs when sitting.
- Having an adequate backrest to support your back.
- Changing positions regularly or standing from time to time.
Although sitting for prolonged periods and working in front of the computer causes imminent strain on your back, following these tips may help reduce the musculoskeletal injury that you may get.