Computer usage can severely affect your posture and cause musculoskeletal discomfort. This is especially likely to happen if you use computers for long stretches and/or too frequently. However, you can improve your postural health by taking the right preventative measures.
Here are a few mistakes you should avoid making while using the computer.
As much as we may try to sit up straight, we do end up slouching every now and then. While it isn’t advisable to sit in an upright position all day long (that can give you a back ache too!) you should try holding that position as much as you can. This is especially important if you spend most of your day using a computer at your desk.
Slouching or slumping over in your seat adds additional pressure on your spine. This exertion can cause muscle strain and injure the tissue in the spine and pelvis. It also exerts extra pressure on your shoulders. This causes stiffness in your upper body and limbs.
Slouching also lowers your lung capacity. When you sit in a slumped position, your chest muscles are unable to expand with ease, which can restrict the amount of air entering. Thus, not only does your posture suffer but you’re also unable to breathe easily.
Placing the Computer Too High
Is your computer placed too high on your desk? Do you have to lean upward or bend your neck to be able to see the screen properly? If so, then this needs to change right now!
We often tend to forget about the position of our monitors when it comes to adjusting our computer equipment. However, if your screen is placed too high, it can have several postural consequences. You can get muscle fatigue, strain, and may even sustain a more severe injury with prolonged usage.
Odd Elbow Angle
Many people make the mistake of placing their keyboards too high or too low from their elbows. This exerts strain on not only your elbows, but also affects the wrists and shoulders. You end up positioning your elbows or hands at an awkward or unnatural angle in order to type, which then exerts extra stress to these areas. As a result, you may experience stiffness or pain in your hands and shoulders and be prone to muscle strain or overuse injuries.
So, how can you fix this mistake?
Try keeping your elbows as close to the waist as you can. Aim for a 90 degree angle between your elbows and your arms while you’re using the computer. Instead of being raised or bent, your wrists should be kept straight while you use the keyboard. To help hold this 90 degree posture, you can use armrests to allow your arms and elbows to relax.