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PREVENTING PAIN CAUSED BY LONG PERIODS OF COMPUTER USE

If you use a computer for much of your day you MUST ... to prevent the ... pain this can cause. Thefirst thing to consider is the correct ... set-upof your computer desk and chair.

If you use a computer for much of your day you MUST take
steps to prevent the crippling pain this can cause. The
first thing to consider is the correct (ergonomic) set-up
of your computer desk and chair.

Both the chair seat and its back should be adjustable.
The chair back should have good lumbar support and you
should be able to adjust it to fit neatly into your back
while you're sitting in the chair. The seat should have
gas lift to make adjusting its height easy and should
slope down at the front so that the back of your thighs
are not put under pressure. With your back against the
chair back you should be able to sit up STRAIGHT--not
slumped either backwards or forwards--and your feet
should rest firmly on the floor. If you feel the need for
a footstool, your chair height is definitely too high.
With your fingers on the keyboard, your forearms should
be level or sloping slightly down. Your wrists should be
straight, not sloping upwards. If they slope up, the
keyboard is too high. This is why you need a FULLY
ADJUSTABLE computer desk, i.e., the monitor and the
keyboard should have their own platforms that can be
raised or lowered separately as required. The top of the
monitor should be about level with the top of your head,
i.e., you should be looking straight into the screen, not
with your head bowed.

You could build a desk specially to your measurements,
but this doesn't make allowance for computer upgrades
(for instance, going from a desktop machine, where the
monitor can sit on top of the computer, to a tower model,
or switching from a 15" to a 21" monitor). The monitor
distance from your seat, BTW, should be about arms
length.

Set up your computer in a position that doesn't allow
reflections in the monitor from windows or overhead
lights. Reflections will create eyestrain and tend to
make you tense because you can't read what's on the
monitor properly.

Even with ergonomic furniture it's STILL possible to
suffer neck, shoulder, arm, wrist and finger pain. By the
time it reaches your wrists and hands, of course, you're
in a really bad way. However, there are some exercises
you can do. Preferably do them to PREVENT pain.
Unfortunately, most need demonstrating with photos or
graphics, but my favourite is easy to describe. Stretch
out on your bed with your shoulders positioned so your
head hangs over the edge. Support your head with both
hands and slowly lower it over the edge of the bed as far
as you can. Take away your hands and rotate your head an
inch or two to both left and right, trying to see as much
of the floor as you can. Then gently lift your head with
your hands until it's level with the rest of your body.
Do the exercise a few more times. Try doing it every
morning as part of your dressing ritual, or every night
before getting into bed. Certainly you should do it as
soon as you notice the slightest pain.

This exercise works on the same principle as the best
exercise for back pain (bending yourself backwards as far
as you can). Backache, especially unexplainable backache,
is usually caused by doing things that force you to bend
forward for long periods. Slouching in your chair
(particularly in a way that forces your body into a
³banana² shape) is another cause of backache.

Armchairs and sofas shouldn't need cushions. If they do
they're badly designed. Cushions are difficult to arrange
for proper lumbar support, so if the chair in which you
sit to watch TV doesn't have good lumbar supportHealth Fitness Articles, a
special back roll for the purpose is probably your best
bet. And don't forget the seats in your car!

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Laraine Anne Barker writes fantasy for young people.
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