According to the CDC, 25% of all adults spend more than eight hours a day seated. The information age has turned us into more sedentary creatures.
Whereas modern technology has improved the way we work, it has also created several challenges. For example, computers help us get a lot more done in less time. However, prolonged usage while in a bad posture can cause neck pain, injuries to the wrists, and backaches. Smartphones also cause plenty of neck pain and discomfort to the thumbs.
By focusing on ergonomics, posture, and chiropractic health, you can keep up with the information age and stay healthy. Use the tips below to stay healthy in a tech-driven world.
Expecting a long phone conversation? Use hands-free devices
When you receive a call or message, you will unknowingly tilt your head to check it. This strains your neck and could injure you. Rather than bend to check, lift the phone to your eye level. It may seem like you have an eye problem, but it’s less taxing to the neck muscles.
If you are expecting a long phone conversation, use a headset. It has the following benefits:
- It will remove the temptation to cradle the phone on your shoulder to get something done while you are on the call – which is strenuous.
- You will not get tired of holding up the phone.
- It puts less pressure on your neck, shoulder, and back muscles.
- You sound better, and you’ll be more engaged in the phone call.
Change your chairs, use ergonomic seats
If you are among the 25% who spend more than 8 hours a day seated, you owe it to your back to invest in ergonomic chairs. Such chairs help you sit with both feet flat on the floor, keep your knees and hips parallel, and reduce pressure at the back of the thighs.
The seat height, width, depth, and tilt should be appropriate. The chair should provide lower and upper back support. It should also swivel. By using ergonomic chairs, you are more likely to sit in the correct posture and gain the following health benefits:
- Relief from back pain and neck pain
- Reduced pressure on the hips
- Improved breathing and circulation
- Enhanced productivity
Similarly, if after your hard day’s work you move straight to the couch to watch TV, consider investing in a reclining chair. Research has identified that sitting in a reclined position is better for your back than sitting upright, so long as you keep your recliner in a stable position.
Keep the monitor at eye level and keyboard comfortable
Whenever you bend your neck to view the monitor it strains your back and neck. It can cause severe back pain and neck pain. To avoid this, position your computer monitor at a comfortable viewing distance (often one arm length) and eye level. If you wear corrective lenses, you could find it more comfortable placing the monitor slightly below the eye level. A quick way to achieve the correct monitor height is by using an adjustable desk. It will help you reduce neck pain, back pain, and eye strain.
The keyboard should be directly in front of your body. It should allow your arms to be slightly open (at an angle of about 100° to 110 °). This way, the shoulders, arms, and wrist rest as you work.
Move and Stretch Frequently
We cannot overemphasize the benefits of regular movement and stretches while at your workstation. Do it after every 30 minutes to one hour of continuous work. Stand and walk to the water point or a nearby window and take a deep breath. Stretch a little bit and chat with a colleague. The health and life benefits are enormous. They include:
- Weight loss. It helps you to lose a few calories
- Strengthens your muscles and bones
- Reduces neck pain and back pain
- Improves your memory and thinking
- Boosts your productivity
Needless to say that it will also improve your relationships with your colleagues.
Finally, regularly consult a chiropractor
Chiropractors are healthcare professionals trained to take care of the neuromusculoskeletal system.
Chiropractors can help you in several areas, including weight loss, arthritis, better sleep, mental health, and several others. Many people seek such help when they experience headaches, neck pain, or back pain.
A chiropractor will advise you on the tips above and help ensure your body functions as optimally as possible. They can also administer spinal manipulations and realignment of joints to relieve pain and boost the functioning of other body systems. So, reach out to a chiropractor and book an appointment.