Computers are a fact of modern life. Many of us spend hours each day at our desktops or laptops, sitting in a fixed position, peering at our computer’s display, and typing. An unwelcome result of these repetitive continuous activities is lingering nagging pain that it slow to heal and interferes with necessary, important work.
Computer related pain may be pain in the neck and shoulder, radiating arm pain and or wrist pain. The locations and types of pain are sufficiently characteristic to be termed REPETITIVE STRESS SYNDROME. Another term might be OVERUSE SYNDROME, a term used in sports for common conditions, such as, shin splints and tennis elbow. The cause is self evident, doing too much of the same thing for too long.
How to prevent these problems? The solution is two-fold. One is to pay attention to the ergonomics of your computer work. The second relates to physical fitness. Ergonomics is the science of examining people and their working environments as it affects efficiency, safety and ease of action.
Your work place should be designed so that you can do a lot of work and still be functioning well. These key points will help you optimize your work space and to avoid work place stress injuries.
The monitor should be positioned so that your neck flexes slightly and your angle of gaze is directed down about 10 degrees. Looking up uses the neck upper back muscles, leading to muscle tightness and fatigue. Looking down all alleviates this unnecessary tension. Rotating your head to look at the monitor is a frequent cause of neck, upper back and arm pain.
The chair seat height and the keyboard should be aligned so that when your hands are on the keyboard; your elbows are parallel to the floor. Your elbows should be neither above nor below the key board, but on the same plane.
The mouse pad should be close to the key board, so that good elbow adjustment is maintained. You should not have to reach for the mouse.
Get up eve our for at least 5-10 minutes and enjoy a quick break. If you can, get a change of scenery and fresh air. This will invigorate your – mind as well a our body.
Start a physical ess plan. If you are fit, you are less likely to injure yourself in gene , and you will recover quickly if injury or trauma happens. Regular excercise plus strengthening and conditioning exercises will tone your muscles, tendons, ligaments and even lubricate your joints, helping you to match the challenge of rigorous work and adapt to stress. You can also do a quick shaking of the fingers, stretching the . back from the base of the palm and occasionally squeezing a rubber ball or tennis ball.
Maintain good posture
Whether you are at the computer or away from the work, try to recall how you look when your posture is good and then get in that position when you remember. For most people, shoulders tend to ride up during the course of a stressful day. Drop yours a little, since keeping them slightly raised wastes a lot of energy, creates fatigue and produces trigger points that cause pain. The best solution to repetitive stress syndrome is to practice good ergonomics and take frequent short brakes. If your boss objects, just tell him or her that your five-minute ergonomic break is preventive insurance against five days of lost work.