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7 Ways to Prevent Health Conditions Related to Computers

Barry Lawrence -- With so many hours now spent sitting at the computer, both in and out of the workplace, be aware of the stresses that are placed on your body so that you can prevent or minimize aches and pain.

Working with a computer regularly can expose you to several back and neck health risks given the fact that it requires you to spend many hours sitting in the same position and doing the same movements.

Even if you don't believe it, computer work is very demanding. If you think about it carefully, it is very common to slouch or lean after a short time in front of a computer, and these actions force our bodies into uncomfortable positions that put a lot of stress on our neck and spine.

Computer ergonomics can help you prevent immediate back and neck pain as well as chronic conditions related to neck and spine misalignment. Knowing how to adjust you body while working at a computer can bring you numerous benefits, including getting rid of regular headaches, reducing back pain, eliminating shoulder pain, and improving productivity and concentration.

Here are 7 tips to make computer work serve you for a change:

1. Move regularly

When you sit or stand in the same position for a long time you are forcing your body. This is why one of the best things you can do in regards to computer ergonomics is to move and change positions frequently. Move your legs; stop typing and shake your arms a little; move your shoulders up and down and back and forth; take your eyes off the screen and focus on distant objects; and take regular breaks to walk and stretch a little.

2. Adjust the monitor

The monitor should be located so that when you look at it, your neck is in a neutral position, not bent down or up. Your back must be reclined a little, never leaning forward to see what you're working on. Try to get a monitor with a movable slide, so that you can lower or raise it to find the best position.

3. Adjust the keyboard

The keyboard should not be on your lap or on the desk. It should be positioned below the desk on a special tray to make sure your wrists and forearms maintain a neutral position. The keyboard must also be tilted away from you in order to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

4. Find the right mouse

Start by placing your elbows close to your body and hands on the desk with the forearms extended naturally. Move your hands over the space without separating your elbows from your body; this is your neutral reach zone, and it is the space in which the mouse should be used. You should avoid reaching out of this area with it. The mouse must be next to the keyboard on the tray, and there should be room to change sides in case you start feeling numbness or pain. There are symmetrical mouses that you can use with both hands.

5. Find a clear place for your workstation

Each task you perform requires different lighting and the amount of light each individual requires is a very personal matter; however, as a general rule, your workstation should be moderately bright. You should make sure there is no glare on the monitor and that there is not too much light.

6. Locate everything within easy reach

You shouldn't reach out to grab things on your desk because this action forces your body into extreme postures that can cause an injury. Everything should be organized so as to be reached easily while you are sitting in front of your computer.

7. Get an ergonomic office chair or proper back support

Purchase the best chair and back support you can afford. Select one that suits your body, your workspace, and the activities you do, and then adjust it appropriately so that you sit at a slightly reclined angle. Source:

Barry Lawrence has written several articles for TruComfort, a company that offers an ergonomically designed seat and back support system. For more great articles on how to reduce back pain, check out their blog at Get rid of back pain forever with their ergonomic seat.

© 2010 Barry Lawrence

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