I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.
(Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, 2004).
Within a relatively short period of time, computer use has become an integral part of home, school and work life, with most households owning two or more computers. Development of new technology has increased the time we spend at the computer, as we email, blog, use social media and browse the web. This increased time spent in front of the computer puts new stresses on our bodies.
If you experience these problems and they do not settle with the instructions given below, seek treatment before major problems arise.
Sitting with poor posture or being in a static position for long periods can lead to back problems, including:
- low back pain
- stiffness after sitting at the computer
Using the computer for long periods causes eye strain; to compensate, we poke our head forward, leading to:
- tightness in the neck or shoulder muscles
- decreased ability to turn your neck
Prolonged use of the mouse and keyboard tightens the forearm muscles, which can cause pain and inflammation (RSI), as well as:
- pins and needles in the hand
- weakness of the hand and decreased grip strength
REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY:
- stand up and stretch every 30 mins when working on the computer
- get a lumbar support from us for your chair
- set up your computer correctly
- invest in quality monitors
- improve your typing skills
It is easy to underestimate the stresses that sitting at a computer can put on your spine and arms, but our practice is seeing a huge increase in the incidence of these problems in both adults and children (see Back Pain in Children). If computer use makes up a significant portion of your day, it makes sense to be aware of potential problems and take steps to avoid them.