Tips For How To Improve Posture Sitting At A Computer & Reducing Pain Symptoms Using Ergonomics When Working With Computers

Many individuals deal with computer systems on a daily basis. This information describes straightforward, affordable ergonomic concepts to assist you in developing a comfortable and safe computer work area. There’s no solitary suitable position or set up which will accommodate everybody. Nevertheless, you will find fundamental ergonomic tips for how to improve posture when sitting at a computer. There are some objectives to take into account whenever establishing a computer system work area or doing computer associated jobs.

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To be aware of the ideal way to establish a computer work area, it’s beneficial to realize the idea of neutral position. It’s a relaxed posture where your body is in natural alignment. Doing work using a natural/neutral posture minimizes strain or stress upon stiff muscles, irritated joints, as well as your entire body structure and minimizes risks associated with getting musculoskeletal disorders. Listed below are ergonomic tips for how to improve posture sitting at a computer. They are essential factors whenever seeking to keep natural positions when doing work on your computer work station as well as avoiding pain symptoms from bad sitting posture:

Ergonomic Tips For How To Improve Posture Sitting At A Computer

These ergonomic tips are general and a visual way to get an idea of a “ideal sitting posture”, however, we will get more specific with some additional tips for how to improve posture when sitting at a computer.

  • Your elbows, wrists and hands should flow is a straight line and remain level with the floor

  • You should face forward with your head straight and in line with your body

  • Maintain your shoulders relaxed, allowing your arms to hang naturally at your sides

  • Keep your elbows in toward the body and at an angle between 90 to 120 degrees

  • Your feet should be flat on the floor or use a footrest if needed

  • Your lower back should have support while sitting to maintain normal curvature

  • Your hips and thighs should be level with the floor and have padding on the seat

  • You knees should be at hip height level and feet forward slightly
tips for how to improve  posture sitting at a computer
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Even with proper sitting posture when using a computer as described above, remaining still and sitting for extended periods will be harmful to muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and discs of the spinal column. Change your work position as often as possible during the work day by: A) performing fine ergonomic adjustments to your seat and/or seat back, B) stretching muscles in your neck, arms, hands and back and C) getting up to walk about for a brief period throughout the day. When working at a computer, you should take these 3 factors into consideration, and this should also be considered when at leisure.

It is not always possible to get up and move around as much as we would like. In order to assist the body with maintaining a level of activity, Backtivator has come up with a solution, to help increase the level of activity while you sit. It can actively engage the spinal muscles while you concentrate on work.

There are simply way you can stretch even while remaining working at the computer. Simple exercises for the neck can be done while sitting and working, a spine lengthening stretch can be done while sitting at the computer and will help train correct body posture. Back support cushions are readily available and can be an inexpensive alternative to purchasing a new office chair.

Ergonomic Tips For How To Improve Posture Sitting At A Computer – Neck & Back Pain

To help reduce strain on the neck and shoulders, keep the top of a monitor level with your eyes. Keeping the keyboard, along with document holders straight in line with your body can help avoid any unnecessary twisting and turning repeatedly to one side. Maintaining this balance can help avoid neck and shoulder pain associated with computer use, especially women, called trapezius myalgia.

Two, or perhaps three short breaks an hour can actually improve productivity as well as reduce risk of injury. So, don’t feel bad about getting up and away from the computer for brief periods throughout the day. When taking breaks, it is good to get up and move around. Walk a bit and perhaps do a little stretching. This movement prevents chronic shortening of muscles as well as helps to lubricate your joints and take pressure off the spine.

While using these tips can help with both neck and back pain when sitting, taking breaks is a good idea. It may sound a little crazy; getting everything set up to sit properly, then saying, “take a break and get up”. But, it is important not to sit too long regardless of posture. A good idea is to get up and walk around a bit. In fact, a September, 2014 issue of the European Spine Journal did a study and found that those with jobs requiring staying still for extended periods could protect themselves from neck pain by increasing the number of walking steps per day. Using a pedometer, they were able to determine that increasing daily walking steps by 1,000 led to a 14% reduction for getting neck pain.

When sitting, good posture is important, however, don’t get overly occupied with sitting straight up. It is good to recline for a while and shifting your posture often alleviate strain, fatigue of the muscles of the shoulders and help neck and back pain symptoms. Positioning the keyboard at elbow height, or somewhat below elbow height will allow the neck and shoulder muscles to relax when typing.

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Ergonomic Tips For How To Improve Posture Sitting At A Computer – Eye Strain & Computer Vision Syndrome

A big problem working with computers is not just neck and back pain. In fact, a major complaint with sitting at a computer for hours is eye strain. Computer vision syndrome is a term often used to describe a condition resulting from extended periods of computer use involving eye strain, sensitivity to light, headaches, back and neck pain.

Regularly look away from the monitor – an eye break. Look away from the monitor for about 30 seconds, preferably into the distance rather than close up. Do this 2 or 3 times and hour, perhaps when shifting postures. Try to keep your monitor positioned approximately your arm length from your head to help reduce eye strain. Keep the monitor perpendicular to the desk, keeping away from sources of direct light that can produce glare. Keep your monitor free of dust and adjust the settings properly.

Ergonomic Tips For How To Improve Posture Sitting At A Computer – Arm & Hands

Some individuals call them wrist rests, however, they are really palm supports and should only be used when taking a break from typing to rest the hands. Using these to rest with your wrists, or worse, when typing using a palm support under the wrists can actually increase pain & symptoms in the wrists and hands, increasing the risk for related injuries and conditions.

To help alleviate wrist & hand problems when typing, have the keyboard below or at elbow height and level or angled slightly away from you, with the back portion angled down. If this is not possible, you can have the keyboard supported on your lap.

Does This Really Help

Following these rules are part of ergonomics that relate to working as well as leisure. A December, 2013 issue of the Annals of Agriculture and Environmental Medicine summed it up nicely in their study, ” Assuming the incorrect body posture during the everyday activities and disobeying the rules of ergonomics resulting from lack of knowledge are crucial factors in the occurrence of spine pains. People who disobey rules of ergonomics experienced spine pain to a higher degree.”

In the July, 2014 edition of the journal Work, an article studied the effects of applying ergonomics at work. They noted that work related musculoskeletal disorders are a significant source of pain as well as disability, especially in the healthcare sector. The results from the study lead the authors to conclude that workplace design changes, re-arranging equipment, proper posture awareness, and better work practices are important to reduce musculoskeletal problems.

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Tips for how to improve posture sitting at computer photo from Integrated Safety Management, Berkeley Lab.