Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Computers and tablets are an essential part of our lives, especially at the moment! Whether for work or pleasure we do spend a lot of our time sitting or slumped in front of them. It’s great news for osteopaths as we treat lots of tense shoulders and headaches, back pain, and even pins and needles in the hands. So it’s even more important to be careful whilst we can’t do hands on treatment.
Here’s some tips to help prevent these aches and pains.
Here are some tips: –
- Working from the sofa or bed should be avoided, even bingeing box sets for hours on end. We just get too comfortable and don’t move much for long periods of time, it’s the lack of movement which causes the development of aches and pains.
- When you sit on a chair try to make sure your back is supported and comfortable, you may need a pillow or cushion behind you (especially if you are short), your feet should be flat on the floor and knees at 90 degrees. If you find yourself perched on the end of the chair or legs are dangling use a box or book (s) on the floor for the feet to rest on.
- The desk/table should low enough or the chair high enough so that your arms will rest as though they are hanging from your shoulders (elbows are nearer 120 degrees than at 90 degrees). If your shoulders are raised at all the top of your shoulders will ache, that means that the table is too high or the chair too low. If your feet are no longer flat on the floor use a box/book or footrest to raise them up again.
- The monitor or screen should be high enough that you are not looking down to it and not too close (hold your arms out in front of you and the screen should be as far away as your fingertips). Worth investing in a laptop stand and separate keyboard so you aren’t always looking down at the screen.
- Holding a tablet computer e.g. an iPad too low, say on the lap, forces the neck to bend forward too much, straining the neck, also holding it in one hand for a long time can also often give you achy shoulders. Simply placing a tablet on a table propped at an angle in a tablet case can reduce neck and shoulder strain and potential pain.
- Regularly changing position when using tablets and computers will also reduce the strain on the neck and shoulders as well as helping your back.
- Movement is key, have regular movement “snacks” every 30/45 minutes make a cup of tea, stretch the chest, move the neck, run or walk up/down stairs (if you have them), march up and down. The list is endless!
- If you are on the mobile get up and walk around.
Finally, don’t leave it too long before seeking help and suffering persistent headaches and pins and needles in the hands.