Could Your Computer Be Hurting You?
In today’s world we are hooked on computers, myself included. Most people spend their whole work day on the computer and then come home and play on it more for personal fun and social networking sites like one of my favorites, Facebook. The downfall of all this time on the computer is that we do not take the time to be aware of our posture using the computer, nor do we take a moment to step away and give our body and minds a much needed break, even if it is just for 5 minutes. With this, most of us find ourselves in a bit of pain from the all day use of the keyboard and the mouse. This pain could be in your upper shoulders, your forearms, wrists and for some in the fingers (ever feel that numbing sensation). Sometimes these muscle issues start showing up right away. Sometimes they may not be for years.
I’m sure if you take a good look at your computer set-up and your posture, you’ll quickly realize that things are not ergonomically correct. Yet there are some ways to help yourself have better posture and be more ergonomically correct. These simple measures can help deter you from compromising your body.
Receive regular massages
Acquire ergonomically correct products to support your wrists, arms, lower back and even for your legs.
Take breaks away from the computer. Even a quick 1 to 2 minute walk down the hall will refresh your body, get the blood flowing and even refresh your mind.
Bring the mouse and keyboard closer to your body so that your not reaching for either.
Take a few moments to stretch. Here are a few suggestions:
Doorway Stretch: Place your forearm against the frame of a doorway with elbow up. Step forward with the same leg that matches the forearm and lunge. Hold and gently come back. Switch sides.
Deltoid Stretch: Pull the right arm across the front of the body using the left arm. Make sure you stretched arm has the thumb facing down. Hold and then switch arms.
Tricep and Lat Stretch: Point your right elbow toward the ceiling, then lean the upper torso to the left. You may grab the elbow with the left hand for a further stretch. Hold and switch arms.
Wrist Stretch: Hold arm straight out with hand upside down. Gently pull down on the fingers to stretch. Switch hands.
I’m sure one of your first thoughts is how could I fit this into my day? Or I can’t do these, what if the boss sees me and thinks I’m being unproductive? Please realize that these simple things don’t take up much time and will help you be more productive. If your body is not in pain you will not be spending the time complaining about it, you will get more done and you’ll feel better. In the end it is your body and you only have one chance to take care of it.