By: Emily Zhang
Computer ergonomics have a lot to do with back pain and stress. One of the main contributing factors to this is posture.
When you sit in front of a monitor, is your back curved? If so, what’s the degree? Do you lay in bed to use your laptop? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is possible that you may experience posture-related injuries. These symptoms may include back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint problems.
When you sit in front of a computer, you should try to sit straight to follow the natural curvature of your body. Sometimes people try to get closer to the computer to see more clearly, but when this action is done, the body will curve more than normal, which can cause back pain. Leaning your head forward may also cause issues. Your neck joint is the only thing that holds up your head; it’s common for you to feel neck pain if you keep your head leaning forward for a long time. Of course, no matter what position you’re in, if you stay in the same position for too long, the muscle will be stiff and sore. Ask yourself how often do you need to lean forward. Is it on purpose or unconscious? If you do it consciously, is it possible to adjust the height of your table or display font in order to avoid it?
If given a choice of where to use your laptop, which one would you prefer? Many people would probably want to lie in bed and hold their laptops on their laps or stomach. However, if you are a parent, which position would you prefer your kid to pick? Most parents would pick for their child to sit straight. Nowadays, people found that working while standing in front of your computer will also help reduce fat and the increased sugar levels caused by sitting for a long time. In a more modern work environment, people even use their computers while on the treadmill or elliptical. You can also consider the 20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, move around and look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. For people who adopt the Pomodoro working method (working for 25 minutes then resting for 5 minutes), you can use the 5 minute rest time to stretch or take a short walk.
Damage from these injuries is hard to undo. Paying attention to your posture when using computers can help to prevent these posture-related injuries.