Ergonomics attempts to reduce strain, fatigue and injuries by improving workspace arrangement with the goal of a comfortable, relaxed posture. Many people spend hours a day in front of a computer or looking down at their phone without realising the impact it is having on their bodies.
Through spending long periods of time with slouched or slumped shoulders, looking downwards, extended wrists or straining to look at poorly placed monitors, people are putting themselves at risk of cumulative trauma disorders or repetitive stress injuries. Symptoms may include pain, muscle fatigue, loss of sensation, tingling and reduced performance.
There are a number of ways the effects of poor computer ergonomics or “text neck” can be reduced by making some simple adjustments to our workspaces and being more aware of the time we spend on screens. This helps relax tissues, prevents stiffness, improves circulation and reduces fatigue.
- It’s recommended that at least every 10 minutes, take a short (20 second) break to move – take your hands off the keyboard and move your joints! Every 30-45 minutes, take a brief (2-5 minute) break to stretch and walk around.
- Adjust your computer monitor so you are looking at it straight ahead and your keyboard so your elbows are bent at 90°. Try to keep your wrists straight when using the mouse – using a foam pad works well to reduce wrist extensions.
- Select a desk chair that allows you to sit in a relaxed and upright position, with a slight arch. A lumbar roll (or rolled towel) at your waist may assist in achieving this position.
- When looking at your phone, be conscious of holding it up higher so the screen is ahead of your face, rather than looking down for long periods of time.
If you’re suffering from back or neck pain, contact John Petrozzi, chiropractor at Petrozzi Wellness Centre Leichhardt in Sydney’s inner west. John, a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, is a chiropractor working in Leichhardt with 20 years’ experience and through back pain treatments, can help you find pain relief and prevent further pain and discomfort. Call 9518 0096 and book your initial consultation today! Visit www.petrozziwellness.com.au for more information.