Most Americans spend far too much time sitting behind a desk and staring at a computer screen during work hours. Unfortunately, this sort of lifestyle can result in all kinds of health issues, especially when it comes to your neck and back. You may even begin to experience chronic pain and discomfort in these areas. To avoid these back and neck problems, use these tips while at the office.
Alter the Monitor and Keyboard Placement
One way to improve your posture and reduce the strain on your neck and back is to reposition your computer monitor and keyboard. Adjust the monitor so it’s directly in front of your face. The center of the screen should be even with your nose. When the monitor is placed too low, you are forced to angle your head downward, which adds unnecessary stress. Move the keyboard closer to your arms, so your elbows retain a 90-degree bend when you’re typing. The keyboard should also be high enough so that you aren’t slumping down to reach it.
Use Good Posture
The reason most people experience pain while at the office is because they sit in an improper position, which puts strain on their body. When at your desk, sit with your back against the chair and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your head in a neutral position looking straight ahead. If you tend to round your lower back, try changing the height of your chair so it’s slightly higher. This will allow you to sit with your thighs angled downward, which helps to distribute your weight evenly through your ischial tuberosities, informally called the sit bones.
Stand and Walk Around
Though it may seem simple, sitting with good posture can take a toll on your body. Throughout the day, try to stand up and walk around. Try to stand for at least one or two hours that you would normally spend sitting down. You can also try using a standing desk. Getting on your feet and walking around is also helpful. Every 30 minutes to an hour, get up, and walk around for a few minutes. If you begin to feel some pain or tightness, stand up and get moving.
Limit Smartphone Use
Your computer isn’t the only screen that can lead to neck and back pain. Often, people bend their heads forward even more when looking at a phone or tablet. Doing so can cause excessive muscle strain. In the long term, it can cause joint or disc injuries, which may require treatment by orthopedic doctors in Suffolk County, NY. Try to practice good posture when using your phone. If you are doing a task that takes a long time, like composing an email, use your desktop computer instead.
If you have been experiencing consistent back or neck pain while at work, it may be a sign of a more serious problem. Reach out to us at Peconic Bay Medical Center to schedule an appointment today.