Are You Too Attached to Your Workplace?
By Sandy Schroeder
Many of us sit for hours in front of our computers. But sometimes that spot can become a magnet, locking us in place. Too much seated time can create back pain, neck pain or eye problems.
Making a few adjustments could help you reduce the risks while you keep your work flowing.
Look straight ahead – Make sure your monitor is at eye level. Use a computer stand to avoid hunching over a laptop. Sitting up straight will benefit your neck and back.
Set five-minute break alerts – You may be surprised at how much stretching or walking you can do in five minutes. Your mood may also improve when you take hourly breaks.
Don’t get too comfortable - When you are not working, you may still be seated, browsing the internet or talking on the phone. Moving outside, taking a brisk walk or trying a new yoga pose might make your body a lot happier.
Maximize font size – If you are squinting at the words on the computer screen, you may develop headaches or eye fatigue. Pop them up a size or two to avoid eyestrain.
Do mini-workouts – While you are seated you can raise, lower and roll your shoulders back. Pull your abdomen in, and do ankle lifts to keep circulation moving. Lift your head up and back, making sure your ears are over your shoulders to avoid a fixed forward head position. Lean your head side-to-side and move your head in a circle to ease neck tension.
Do your eyes a favor and blink – Individuals staring at a screen blink about a third as much as other people do. This can cause dry eyes and eye strain. Use the 20-20-20 screen rule. Every 20 minutes look across the room (about 20 feet) for 20 seconds.
Stay hydrated – Your skin may improve. Your weight may drop, and you will be taking automatic breaks to get water refills.
Do a quick check – When you are seated, your feet should be flat on the floor. Knees should be slightly above hips, and there should be a small gap between the back of the leg and the chair. Your chair should provide good middle back and lower back support.
Whatever you can do to stay active will benefit your whole body.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.