One of the most common forms of back and neck pain comes from repetitive movements. The stress that builds up from performing the same activity over and over again – like typing on a keyboard or sitting with the same posture at a computer – is compounded by the fact that most people don’t have a self-care routine.
Part of the reason for this personal negligence has to do with the pressures of work. When you have a lot do, and deadlines are looming, the last thing you want to do is take a casual 15-minute stretch every couple of hours. And yet, taking this time for yourself and your body is exactly what you need to avoid repetitive stress injuries and chronic back pain from your work life. The irony is that paying more attention to your posture at the computer will improve your productivity, not the other way around. Here are three easy tips you can do today to achieve a more proper computer posture:
- Don’t Slump
People tend to slump because they have a poorly-designed chair, or because they are absent-minded about their posture. Slumping quickly becomes the go-to position for most people as they enter into hour 6 or 7 of a long workday. So what can you do to catch yourself when slumping? Maybe set a timer for every 30 minutes and reset yourself when it goes off.
- Don’t Sit Up Straight Either
One of the age-old recommendations for achieving “proper” posture is to always sit up straight. This recommendation is misplaced. Although it might look good to an outside observer to see someone working with a taut neck and shoulders up and back, it really is not a natural pose for the body. It requires a lot of tension in the hips and lower back, not to mention the neck. A proper pose is one in which tension in the back and neck is at its lowest. This usually means a more relaxed pose than the conventional posture we always hear about.
- Let Your Neck Be Natural, Not Tense
Along with your lower back, your neck is at the core of a healthy posture. If it is rigid and projected up or out, you are bound to experience stiffness and pain. The goal should be to let your neck sit as naturally as possible, holding the weight of the head without any undue pressure.
These are tons of different ways to make sure you maintain a natural posture when working at the computer. You might want to invest in an ergonomic chair, a better computer stand, or a neck roller to use when you feel tense. These are all good options too. Consider the three tips mentioned above as a jumping off point for you on your pursuit of a natural, healthy computer posture and visit your chiropractor for more information.