As computers continue to become part of our everyday life both at work and home, more and more people are suffering from backaches, headaches, neck pain, eye strain, repetitive stress injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome to name a few.
Body structural problems from the physical stress of sitting incorrectly, or for too long in front of your computer screen is on the rise. If you work at a desk all day, here are some ways to lower your body stress levels.
- Make sure that your computer keyboard, mouse and screen are directly in front of you to minimize having to twist your neck or back to see the screen or reach the keyboard and mouse.
- Your monitor should be 18 to 24” in front of you just below eye level. You never want to look down at your screen as it stresses your neck muscles, ligaments and spine leading to pain in those areas and even loss of the natural cervical curve.
- Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned so that your wrists are straight with your elbows at a 90 degree angle. This will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. A good investment would be upgrading to an inexpensive ergonomic keyboard with built in wrist pads.
- Choose a good desk chair that allows you to sit up straight with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and your thighs should not be in contact with the front edge of the seat. It should have lumbar support for your lower back to preserve the natural lumbar curve of your spine.
- One easy thing to do is to set a timer to go off every hour. Take 3-5 minutes to stand up, stretch and even take a short walk. Your eyes, shoulders, back and legs will thank you for taking a break and you will have a greater concentration level when you return.
Tips to Avoid Eye Strain and Headaches
- If possible, position your monitor away from windows to cut down on bright outside light.
- Adjust your monitor resolution settings as light conditions change.
- Modify overhead lighting if it creates a glare on your computer screen.
- Use Adobe Type Manager or make the font size on your screen easier to read.
- If your body is suffering from computer stress, schedule a Body Stress Release session to restore balance to your body.
Your body gives you feedback as to what you are doing is right for you or not. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel like standing up, changing position, stretching or taking a walk, then do it! Make a conscious effort to listen to your body and become aware of what it needs.
Simply by taking a few minutes every hour to re-position your body, walk, stretch, drink water, or just stopping and taking a deep breath will help you relieve some of the stress in your life.