Most jobs today involve working in front of the computer. This eventually led to a rising number of incidences of musculoskeletal disorders and most often, problems on posture, sending people to their local Lutz chiropractor. Working in front of the computer for longer hours can have negative implications on your posture that can further lead to more cumbersome problems such as neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and even degeneration of the joints in the long run. And all of these develop from the actual wear and tear that the spinal joint experiences when one employ long computer works.
The Role of Repetitive Stress Injury
If you have been employing computer works, you might have experienced some sort of pain in your neck and back. This results from beginning injuries in the spine in the form of repetitive stress injuries. Repetitive stress injuries result from repetitive movements of a set of joints and muscles. As these structures continuously work in the same manner for longer hours every day, it leads to the accumulation of tension and even stress on the spine. Eventually, the spine and muscles may not effectively hold the body in the right position leading to problems in posture.
A common problem in posture related to long computer works is the forward head posture. As someone gazes on the computer monitor for longer hours, the head usually assumes a forward position in order to see the texts clearly. This is especially true when the monitor is not positioned in an ergonomically -friendly position such as being too high or too low. When the head assumes a forward head position, the neck carries the weight of the head 10X its actual weight, which creates a stress injury on the muscles and joint. The neck in turn, loses its neutral position and bends forward to accommodate the head. This can further lead to neck strain and pain and eventually a cervicomuscular strain on the neck contributing to cervical osteoarthritis.
Moreover, the tensed neck may cause the shoulder joints and back to work more to maintain spinal stability. The shoulders drop, the back arches abnormally leading to further postural problems. When computer positioning is thereby not corrected, the stress that the spinal joints receive worsens leading to spinal degeneration and back problems.
Knowing these, it is; thereby, important to ensure proper positioning when working in front of the computer to lessen the negative effects on posture. The following are some of the important tips to ensure that you work in the most ergonomically-appropriate manner in front of the computer:
- Reposition the monitor
The monitor should be positioned in such a way that the eyes are directly on the level of the upper third of the screen. This ensures that the neck does not need to extend nor flex just to gaze the monitor clearly.
- Use an ergonomic chair
An ergonomic chair should be able to rotate, has an adequate back rest and allows the feet to reach the floor. When sitting, reposition the height of the chair in such a way that the knees are slightly higher than the edge of the chair to promote adequate back support.
- Realign the table
Lastly, the table should allow the hands to grasp the mouse without flexing the wrist and elevating the elbows off the desk.
When working in front of the computer, preventing posture problems is the best option. You may also visit your chiropractor to ensure that preventive measures are employed.